Studies in Philology

Grounded in a long history of scholarly excellence as one of the first journals of literary criticism in the United States, Studies in Philology publishes articles on all aspects of British literature from the Middle Ages through Romanticism and articles on relations between British literature and works in the classical, Romance, and Germanic languages.

Articles

Vol. 114, No. 3, Summer

Gender, Vulgarity, and the Phantom Debates of Chaucer's Merchant's Tale
Chaucer's Merchant's Tale has long been criticized for its apparently disjunctive themes and style, yet by reading it as a series of five debates concerning gender and marriage, its organic unity comes into sharper focus. The primary sections of the...
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Sir Gowther: Table Manners and Aristocratic Identity
The anomalous verse romance of Sir Gowther (ca. 1400) has long perplexed critics with its insistent anti-heroism and spectacular violence. Rather than seek resolution in penitential ideology, this article looks to the secular practices of aristocratic...
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Arms or the Man I: Gunpowder Technology and the Early Modern Romance
This essay places the chivalric romance, both as a print and performance genre, "under the shadow" of Renaissance England's contemporaneous gunpowder revolution. Only in exposing the sway of artillery on the long sixteenth century can we grasp how...
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Reconsidering Donne: From Libertine Poetry to Arminian Sermons
Understood within the context of the early modern religious meanings of libertinism and read within the framework of John Donne's other writings, his early libertine amatory poems have religious significance and an important place in Donne's lifelong...
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The Grammar of Salvation and the Poetics of Possibility in Donne's Holy Sonnets
One of the difficulties facing early seventeenth-century Protestants in England, as Catherine Gimelli Martin has argued, was how to reconcile God's decree of election, luhich is made before and outside time, with the temporal human experience of coming...
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The Commonwealth Cavalier
As a highway robber James Hind--the man zvith whom Charles II was thought to be hiding after his defeat in 1651 at the Battle of Worcester--was said to be unparalleled, "an absolute Artist in his profession," as well as a courteous, Robinhoodish sort...
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Sustaining Fiction: Preserving Patriarchy in Marvell's upon Appleton House
Many readers of Andrew Marvell's Upon Appleton House note the poem's deviation from typical country house poems, finding in this deviation evidence of Marvell's ambivalence, eccentricity, or even, in the poem's challenges to heterosexual norms, "queerness."...
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The Aims and Genre of Colley Cibber's Apology (1740)
An Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber, Comedian, has almost always been viewed as a conceited and vainglorious self-celebration of the prominent, highly successful, and much-hated actor, playwright, and manager (1671-1757). It has been variously...
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Vol. 114, No. 2, Spring

"Wose Is Onwise": Dame Sirith in Context
Dame Sirith is often discussed as the earliest Middle English comic narrative. I argue that this designation is misleading: Dame Sirith is better considered as a distinct representative of a well-developed multilingual tale tradition. This tradition...
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The Ireland Prophecy: Text and Metrical Context
This essay introduces The Ireland Prophecy, a late fifteenth-century English alliterative poem extant in six manuscripts. The poem survives in three textual versions of different lengths, indicating rolling revision by many hands over a decade or more....
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Spanish in Abraham Fraunce's Arcadian Rhetorike and the Political Context of the Summer of 1588
Abraham Fraunce's (1558-1593) The Arcadian Rhetorike went to press as the Armada approached England's shores. Usually studied as a conduit for the circulation of Renaissance poetry, Fraunce was the first to publish excerpts of Sir Philip Sidney's (1554-1586)...
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Inhuman Persuasion in the Tempest
Shakespeare's The Tempest presents the spectacle of a magician-prince who manipulates inhuman powers to regain his usurped dukedom and secure a marriage for his daughter that promises to make his descendants kings. The fantasy elements of the story,...
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"I Feare the More": Donne's Devotions and the Impossibility of Dying Well
Facing his own mortality in the experience of a "spotted fever," John Donne composed his Devotions upon emergent occasions in 1623. Although the work is typically read in the chronological context of Donne's oeuvre as a meditative text composed by...
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"Or Rather a Wyldernesse": The Changing Works of Dudley, Third Baron North
The early modern courtier and writer Dudley, third Baron North, left behind him a wealth of literary manuscripts, including both autograph and scribal versions of his verse, all altered at various stages by North. But a survey of the extant copies...
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Early Condensations of Gulliver's Travels: Images of Swift as Satirist in the 1720s
Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels was allegedly very popular immediately following its publication in 1726. But the high price at which it was sold, 8s. 6d., made the book prohibitively expensive for book-buyers, as evidenced by several cheaper abridgments...
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Lost "In a Sort of Wilderness": The Epistemology of Love in Richardson's the History of Sir Charles Grandison
Samuel Richardson's final novel, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, incorporates the foundations of a sensibility that we might call "psychological fiction" found in such novels as Madame de Lafayette's La Princesse de Cleves. Grandison depicts...
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Thomas Francklin's Minos: A Recently Discovered Imitation of Lucian from the 1770s
Thomas Francklin's comic two-act play, Minos, was neither performed nor published and only known from Francklin's correspondence with David Garrick in the 1770s. A manuscript of this play has recently come to light, filling in a gap in theater history...
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Vol. 114, No. 1, Winter

Heroic Friendship in Dryden's Troilus and Cressida
This essay reconsiders John Dryden's Troilus and Cressida, Or Truth Found Too Late as part of Dryden's larger project of heroic plays, specifically as plays designed to instruct his "betters" at court on matters of ethics and public policy. Troilus...
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Violence, Excess, and the Composite Emotional Rhetoric of Richard Coeur De Lion
This article offers a reappraisal of the Middle English romance Richard Coeur de Lion in light of its composite nature, which, I suggest, provides grounds for a more critical reading of the eponymous hero's bellicose temperament and violent actions...
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"Some Other Kind of Lore": Satire and Self-Governance in Spenserian Poetry
This article investigates William Browne's use of a poem by the medieval poet Thomas Hoccleve as a tribute to his imprisoned fellow poet George Wither. It argues that Hoccleve's self-referential poem-sequence The Series plays a wider role in Browne's...
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On Judges and the Art of Judicature: Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2
In the late sixteenth century; the common law experienced a phenomenal growth, both in the number of practitioners and jurisdictional power. A comparison of popular and professional literature on legal administration or judicature reveals the complex...
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Local Communities and Central Power in Shakespeare's Transnational Law
This essay uses William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, based on a novella by Gimbattista Giraldi Cinzio, to examine what it means for Shakespeare to stage narratives engaged in Italian Roman law within England's common law system. The essay analyzes...
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Allegorical Analogies: Henry More's Poetical Cosmology
As a young fellow at Cambridge, Henry More wrote a collection of long allegorical poems that were first published in 1642. More's poems are "Philosophicall Poems" in title and content; they are also Spenserian allegories. This article explores the...
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Vol. 113, No. 4, Fall

Wyrd De Warnung ... or God: The Question of Absolute Sovereignty in Solomon and Saturn II
The Old English word wyrd has a long and contentious history in Anglo-Saxon studies. Early scholars translated this word as "fate" arid considered it a rare preservation of pre-Christian belief in the extant corpus. More recently, the scholarly consensus...
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"O Perle": Apostrophe in Pearl
This article addresses the Pearl-poet's use of apostrophe in his elegiac dream vision. Drawing on classical and medieval discussions of this rhetorical device, as well as contemporary poetic criticism, it argues that the trajectory of apostrophe in...
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Moses, Taliesin, and the Welsh Chosen People: Elis Gruffydd's Construction of a Biblical, British Past for Reformation Wales
This article focuses on the sixteenth-century Welsh Cronicl o wech oesoedd ("Chronicle of the Six Ages [of the World]") written by the exiled Welshman Elis Gruffydd, and in particular the section treating the poet-prophet Taliesin. A legendary figure...
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Beginning with Goodwill in the Works of Sir Philip Sidney
As Sir Philip Sidney points out in the Defense of Poesie, literature is supposed to delight and instruct. At the same time, though, Sidney also implies that every piece of literature is inherently flawed, because human writers cannot create text without...
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Court Masques about Stuart London
In this article, I explore Stuart court masques that in some way represent London, and I examine court masques that were performed in London itself: "about" meaning subject matter and performance space. I argue that the masque on occasion violated...
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Christ Church, Oxford, and Beyond: Folger MS V.a.345 and Its Manuscript and Print Sources
Folger MS V.a.345 is an early seventeenth-century English manuscript of about 500 poems, with some additional prose pieces. It is one of the largest surviving manuscript anthologies from the period, drawing its contents from both manuscript and print...
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John Donne and the Textuality of the Two Souls
This article traces John Donne's intellectual struggle to reconcile a paradox of two conflicting souls: the classical organic soul composed of three mortal faculties rooted in the body's function and the immortal Christian soul that serves as the basis...
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"A Good Christian, and a Good Natural Philosopher": Margaret Cavendish's Theory of the Soul(s) in the Early Enlightenment
Margaret Cavendish has been identified as a crypto-atheist in a number of modern studies of her life and works. In her own time, Cavendish voiced serious concern that she would be accused of atheism by her contemporaries, writing in Philosophical and...
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Vol. 113, No. 3, Summer

Chaucer's Enigmatic Thing in the Parliament of Fowls
This article argues that the enigmatic "thing" for which Chaucer's dream-vision narrator searches is both a structuring device for the Parliament of Fowls and a reflection on the process of translation, specifically the translation of Boethius's Consolation...
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Going Rogue: Spenser and the Vagrants
Edmund Spenser's poetry is teeming with rogues--false beggars, vagabonds, and other figures of similar disrepute--but his work is rarely discussed in the context of Tudor vagrancy law or rogue literature. This article situates Spenser's persistent...
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A Queen in a "Purple Robe": Henry Constable's Poetic Tribute to Mary, Queen of Scots
The religious sonnets that the Elizabethan poet and courtier Henry Constable wrote in exile, which reveal strong post-Tridentine and continental influences, have been edited and assessed as they survive in a manuscript in the British Library (Harley...
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Discandying Cleopatra: Preserving Cleopatra's Infinite Variety in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
Taking Shakespeare's unique use of the term "discandying" as a starting point, this essay argues that Shakespeare's preoccupation with food preservation in Antony and Cleopatra extends and complicates a tradition interested in preservation more broadly...
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Sir Thomas Browne, Paolo Giovio, and the Tragicomedy of Muleasses, King of Tunis
This article has two aims: to tell the remarkable story of the Tunisian king Muley al-Hasan, or 'Muleasses' (1484-1550), whose cruelty and luxury astounded Europeans of the 1540s, and to trace his depiction in a range of humanist works over the century...
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Defoe's Role in the Weekly Journal: Gesture and Rhetoric, Archive and Canon, and the Uses of Literary History in Attribution
This essay is intended to restore Defoe's contributions to a single journal not included in the list of his works. But in the process, it will clarify some of the problems created by P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens's apparent sole reliance upon external...
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Vol. 113, No. 2, Spring

"Raised Unto a Cheareful and Lively Beleeving": The 1587-90 Diary of the Puritan Richard Rogers and Writing into Joy
The 1587-90 diary of Richard Rogers, housed in Dr. Williams's Library in London, is well known for its historical significance but rarely examined for its formal particulars and rhetorical gestures. This is unfortunate; the diary is the earliest complete...
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From Priests' to Actors' Wardrobe: Controversial, Commercial, and Costumized Vestments
This essay examines Catholic vestments on the English stage from the early Reformation through Shakespeare. The changing meaning, status, and usage of Catholic vestments, which crossed the boundary from sacred religious property to secular theatrical...
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The Politics of Contentment: Passions, Pastoral, and Community in Shakespeare's as You like It
This essay excavates early modern concepts of contentment in order to reconsider the political significance of Shakespeare's As You Like It. Drawing upon the etymological connection between "content" and "contain," Renaissance writers discussed contentment...
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Shakespeare's Semiotics and the Problem of Falstaff
In this article, I contend that the Henry IV plays evoke the plurivocity of language in order to show not only the multiplicity of possible interpretations but more importantly the location of those interpretations within the audience. The plays' use...
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"Valour Will Weep": The Ethics of Valor, Anger, and Pity in Shakespeare's Coriolanus
Anatomizing Caius Martius Coriolanus illuminates Shakespeare's critique of Rome in the Roman plays: Rome's single-minded privileging of a species of valor that is indistinguishable from wrath; an imperialist urge for conquest implicit in its earliest...
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"Which First Was Mine Own King": Caliban and the Politics of Service and Education in the Tempest
We can only fully understand Shakespeare's Caliban if we consider his career as a servant and student in Prospero's "cell." Critics have long acknowledged that this career is key to Caliban's character in the play's current moment, but they typically...
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Sir Kenelm Digby's Interruptions: Piracy and Lived Romance in the 1620s
Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-65) spent the year 1628 as a privateer in the Mediterranean. During his time at sea he not only performed notable feats of heroism but wrote an autobiographical romance titled Loose Fantasies on the island of Milos. This essay...
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Sir Kenelm Digby's Interruptions: Piracy and Lived Romance in the 1620s
III. "THE LARGENESSE OF HIS NOSETHRILLES": NARRATIVE INTERRUPTION AND HELIODORAN ROMANCE Digby's desire to "give testimony to the world ... of his active and vigorous spirits" was initially beset with delays and frustrations. Some of these were...
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Vol. 113, No. 1, Winter

"Ovre Londe" / "Irlonde": Appropriating Irish Saints in the Aftermath of Conquest
A pair of textual errors in the Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 108, South English Legendary Lives of St. Brendan and St. Brigid (ca. 1280-1320) misidentify these two saints as coming from "ovre londe" ("our land"; implicitly, England) and "Scotlond"...
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Middle English Ferumbras Romances and the Reign of Richard II
The Charlemagne romance Fierabras, which originated in twelfth-century France, was pervasive during the Middle Ages, in Britain as elsewhere, and although ostensibly Charlemagne romances would have been less popular in England than Arthurian ones,...
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The Contemplative Cosmos: John Lyly's Endymion and the Shape of Early Modern Space
Written at a time when the nature of place was reimagined, John Lyly's Endymion draws upon Neoplatonic theories of desire to present space as a domain continually reshaped by contemplative thought. In his commentary on Plato's Symposium, Marsilio Ficino...
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The Functions of Forgetfulness in 1 Henry IV
In 1 Henry IV, William Shakespeare proposes judicious forgetfulness as a positive strategy for achieving power despite its pathologized position in early modern culture as well as its seeming incompatibility with the recording of history. Nielzschean...
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The Ring's the Thing: Elizabeth I's Virgin Knot and All's Well That Ends Well
This essay explores the Elizabethan cultural construction of the virgin's ring, construed broadly within various literary, artistic, and historical works. Drawing on medical literature's negative perspective of virginal bodies, the essay focuses first...
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The Imagination's Arts: Poetry and Natural Philosophy in Bacon and Shakespeare
This article argues that natural philosophy and poetry were complementary arts in the early seventeenth century. Together these arts harnessed the imagination to discover the natural order and to restore a legitimate model of sovereignty. I delineate...
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The "Reason" of Radical Evil: Shakespeare, Milton, and the Ethical Philosophers
The Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation considerably deepened the moral and philosophical understanding of the concept of evil. Building on the early Christian Fathers and especially on Augustine's seminal analyses of the causes and effects...
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Incarnational Apophatic: Rethinking Divine Accommodation in John Milton's Paradise Lost
This essay argues that John Milton's Paradise Lost reveals both the limits and dangers of several modes of accommodating God to both angelic and human understanding. Not only does God fail successfully to accommodate himself and his internally efficient...
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