Philological Quarterly

This journal covers aspects of medieval European and modern literature and culture. The articles published incorporate physical bibliography, the sociology of knowledge, the history of reading, reception studies and other fields of inquiry.

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 1, Winter

A Lover's Discourse in 449 Fragments: The Failure of Representation in Sceve's 'Delie.' (Maurice Sceve)
I will read certain dizains of Delie that please me (as Valery Larbaud said we may), linking them together by their common topic of representing Delie.(1) I make no claim that this choice of poems is necessary or even exemplary (not to say representative...
Isabella's Choice
What should Isabella do, in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure? Should she yield up her body to Angelo's will, in the hope of saving her brother's life? Or should she refuse Angelo's demand, thereby preserving her chastity? Anyone who believes that...
Justifying Violence: Boiardo's Castle Cruel
Italian humanism and interpretive anthropology alike make an issue of how to respond to local customs, the subject of Castle Cruel in Matteo Maria Boiardo's romantic epic, Orlando Innamorato (1482). The humanism Boiardo derived from Cicero grounds...
Maculating Mary: The Detractors of the N-Town Cycle's "Trial of Joseph and Mary."
The detractors in the "Trial of Joseph and Mary" of the N-Town cycle have not excited much critical curiosity. What little commentary we have generally echoes Rosemary Woolf's observation that while the detractors function in the play as witnesses...
Spectacle of the Guillotine: Helen Maria Williams and the Reign of Terror
In November 1790, Edmund Burke published his Reflections on the Revolution in France; Mary Wollstonecraft replied with A Vindication of the Rights of Men, and in the same month, Helen Maria Williams published her celebratory and celebrated Letters...
The Language of Love: Overstatement and Ironic Humor in Machaut's 'Voir Dit.' (Guillaume De Machaut)
The Voir dit was seen by older scholars like Gaston Paris and Gustave Cohen as the literal narrative--if not wholly, then substantially true--of the sexagenarian Machaut's supposed love affair with the young Peronne d'Armentieres. Present-day students...