THE pastoral is a mode of literary expression, not a literary species; a way of regarding life and nature, not a variety of prose or of poetry. Originating in the Italy of the later Renaissance, the pastoral held its own in various forms in verse and prose, in Latin and Italian, from Sannazaro, whose famous prose romance, the Arcadia, was completed in 1489, to Tasso and Guarini, whose pastoral dramas were written in the lifetime of Shakespeare.1 At home the pastoral gave life to the most vital branch of Italian drama; abroad, it influenced every literature of Europe. As an element the pastoral enters widely into the literature of Elizabeth and James, and produces as diverse products as The Shepherds' Calendar, As You Like It, and Lycidas. The pastoral came first into England in eclogue form, in Googe's translation of Mantuan's Latin imitations of Vergil.2 The eclogue reached its height in The Shepherds' Calendar, and was revived in the reign of King James in the "pastorals" of Wither and Browne. The pastoral lyric
The pastoral a mode; its origin;
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Publication information: Book title: Elizabethan Drama, 1558-1642:A History of the Drama in England from the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the Closing of the Theaters. Volume: 2. Contributors: Felix E. Schelling - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1908. Page number: 139.
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