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HUMANITIES 407 are found in the Cathedral (the medieval St Werburg's Abbey) or in Chester's five principal medieval churches. To assist the reader in visualizing some of these works, MacLean includes forty-nine photographs, ranging in clarity from dark to excellent. She also includes a very brief historical introduction, a short history of St Werburg's, an appendix on musical instruments in Chester art, a list of the Cathedral's famous misericords, and a sixteenth-century map of the city. On rare occasions, MacLean suggests a possible, albeit tenuous, connection between Chester 's art and drama. An item describing a St George corbel, for example, follows an item noting that a St George play was performed in Chester in 1492. But usually there is no apparent interrelationship at all. For instance, the EDAM Subject Guide lists twenty-five Old Testament headings , thirteen of which are dramatized in the Chester Cycle. Yet only four of these twenty-five heaclings are represented in Chester art - 'Angels : 'Samson: 'King David: and 'Jesse Tree' - and only one of these four, the angels, appears in the cycle (David appears briefly as a prophet in one of the five cycle manuscripts). 'Probably the most remarkable survival with dramatic interest,' MacLean writes in her introduction, 'is the sandstone carving of the Assumption with the panel of angel musicians on the west front of the Cathedral.' Unfortunately, the Wives' Assumption play was lost ca 1548. And, as MacLean later admits, 'there can be no definite proof of influence' because the accompaniment of musician-angels is typical of medieval Assumptions generally. Chester Art is best appreciated as part of a series where negative findings can at times be as instructive as positive ones. Scholars interested in meclieval Chester are indebted to MacLean for cataloguing and describing the city's surviving artefacts. That these artefacts shed little light on the plays should serve as a reminder that the plays themselves may have offered the townspeople their most vivid images of sacred events, and that these events were designed by playwrights influenced in large part by non-local works of art, to be found throughout England as well as on the Continent. (PETER w. TRAVIS) Nancy Lindheim. The Structures of Sidney's 'Arcadia' University of Toronto Press, 224. $30.00 Nancy Lindheim takes as her goal to define and analyse 'the structures' of Sidney'S New Arcadia. Arguing that 'conscious structural complexity is indeed the hallmark of Sidney's writing ... with both cross-patterns and analogous repetitions on smaller and larger scales ... as much the result of a world view as it is a personal compulsion,' Lindheim identifies three types of structures - rhetorical, tonal, and narrative - which reveal this philosophical complexity, and through an examination of them at- 408 LETIERS IN CANADA 1982 tempts to prove that the Arcadia is not so much concerned with Christian doctrine, Neoplatonism, or even pastoralism as it is with epic heroism and, as a paedeia, with history, philosophy, politics, ethics, and love this world, not the next. By rhetorical structure, Lindheim means Sidney's application of rhetorical figures such as paradox, antithesis, antimetabole, and correctio to standard Renaissance 'antithetical topoi' such as doing/suffering, action/ contemplation, matter/spirit, reasonlIove, knowledge/virtue to produce a philosophic structure which reveals 'a tension between Sidney'S analytical habit of mind and his temperamental need for synthesis: This in turn demands that he resolve the tension by producing various syntheses, sometimes balancing the claims of the antitheses, sometimes ranking them, but never rejecting one in favour of the other. What is intriguing is Sidney's manipulation of antitheses so that 'under careful examination the oppositions disappear: a 'peculiar habit of simultaneously constructing and superseding antithetical relationships' in an attempt to 'find some way to encompass all alternatives' - in other words, a philosophical position revealed through rhetorical structure and figures that can be called 'multiple unity.' Perfection is a reciprocal relation 'expressed as mutual dependence, harmonious interchange, reversible cause and effect' no matter the subject - geography, psychology, ethics, politics, theology, etc. Lindheim then argues that much Renaissance literature is 'put together on the basis of theme as well as plot: Theme-oriented literature (like the Faerie Queene) 'dallies...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 407-409
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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