The Structure of Allegory in the Faerie Queene

The Structure of Allegory in the Faerie Queene

The Structure of Allegory in the Faerie Queene

The Structure of Allegory in the Faerie Queene

Excerpt

My interest in Spenser began over twelve years ago in a graduate seminar under Northrop Frye. While writing under the stimulus of his teaching since that time, my very considerable debt to him has only increased. At times I wonder whether I can even say with Touchstone that anything of worth in this 'ill-favoured thing' is my own. While at Toronto I was greatly influenced, as a generation of students have been, by A. S. P. Woodhouse: like Coleridge by Kant we have all been held 'as with a giant's hand'. Through the generosity of the Canadian Defence Department I was able to continue my study of Spenser at Cambridge where my dissertation on The Faerie Queene was written under the supervision of E. M. W. Tillyard. Whatever clarity of expression or strength of argument this present study possesses, it owes all to him. Yet in acknowledging my debt to Frye, Woodhouse, and Tillyard I am only too aware that I may seem to echo the boast of Chaos in Paradise Lost: 'havoc and spoil and ruin are my gain'.

Since my dissertation was accepted at Cambridge in 1953, it has been thoroughly revised and extended. During this stage of writing my constant mentor has been D. C. Allen. Through my struggle to meet his exacting critical standards some parts of this work have appeared as articles, and for permission to use them I have to thank the editors of ELH, Modern Language Notes, PMLA, The Review of English Studies, and Comparative Literature. Also I have to thank the Graduate School of the University of Washington for relieving me of two months of summer-school teaching to complete my research.

For their conversation and encouragement I owe a debt to Arthur Barker and J. Max Patrick, and to my colleagues at the University of Washington, chiefly to Arnold Stein, Brents Stirling, James W. Hall, and David C. Fowler.

My greatest debt is acknowledged in the dedication.

A. C. H.

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