Cover

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Front Matter

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-49

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ONE

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pp. 50-102

Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene begins in medias res. A “Gentle Knight” (1.1.1.1)1 on a “great adventure” given by Gloriana, the “greatest Glorious Queene of Faerie lond,” is silhouetted against a plain. The occasion for his “adventure” rides beside him, a “louely Lady” (1.i.4.1) grieving for royal parents in...

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TWO

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pp. 103-143

Shakespeare’s Henriad chronicles the experience of Henry V of England, first as the ambivalent heir apparent to his usurper father, Henry IV, then as the kingly victor over the French monarchy. The problematic Falstaff, his summary rejection by the newly crowned king, the relationships between the plays, the dimensions...

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THREE

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pp. 144-191

In a 1620 Lincoln’s Inn sermon Donne boldly impersonated Job’s voice in affirming the identity of the self at the resurrection. He, too, would stand face to face, person to person, before the resurrected Christ at the resurrection: “Ego, I, I the same body, and the same soul, shall be recompact again, and be identically, numerically, individually...

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FOUR

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pp. 192-258

Ben Jonson’s famous poem on William Shakespeare begins with a disclaimer. Jonson will draw no envy on Shakespeare’s name through inflated praise, even though neither man nor muse can praise Shakespeare’s writings too much. And “’Tis true” that “all...

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FIVE

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pp. 259-319

John Milton’s pride in being chosen to defend the new English republic against attack was unabashed. He welcomed “the glorious task of defending the very defenders” of “civil life and religion.” 1 His A Defence of the People of England (1651)2 earned widespread European approval, and even after the republican...

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A POSTSCRIPT

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pp. 320-330

The intention of Edmund Spenser’s “vertuous lore” is to fashion persons serving the common good. In Spenser, and many other writers with similar intentions, such transforming lore includes the lives of poets as expressed in their works. As Spenser’s admirer, John Milton...

Notes

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pp. 331-373

Index

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pp. 375-384