‘I would abate the sternenesse of my stile’: diction and poetic subversion in Two Cantos of Mutabilitie’

Brown, Richard Danson (2010). ‘I would abate the sternenesse of my stile’: diction and poetic subversion in Two Cantos of Mutabilitie’. In: Grogan, Jane ed. Celebrating Mutabilitie: Essays on Edmund Spenser’s Mutabilitie Cantos. Manchester Spenser. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 275–294.

Abstract

This essay investigates the aesthetic strategies, effects and implications of the Mutabilitie Cantos by Edmund Spenser, which are usually seen as being the final part of 'The Faerie Queene'. The essay shows how Spenser's invitation to the reader to consider and weigh the aptness of the language used to the events described amounts to a stylistic strategy by which the reader is encouraged to involve him or herself in the dynamic, interpretative and self-evaluative work of the poem.

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