English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages

By E. K. Chambers | Go to book overview

II THE CAROL AND FIFTEENTH-CENTURY LYRIC

IF courtly poetry fell into decadence with the fifteenth-century inheritors of the Chaucerian tradition, a more popular lyric held its own, mainly by virtue of the carol. The term is of French origin, and philologists differ as to whether it owes its derivation to the Greco-Latin chorus, through chorea, a dance, or choraules, the flute-playing accompanist of a dance, or to corolla, a little crown or garland. In either case, the sense of a 'ring' is there, although the alternative 'ryng-sangis' first emerges with Gavin Douglas in the sixteenth century.

Sum sang ryng-sangis, dansys ledis, and roundis,
With vocis schrill, quhil all the dail1 resoundis;
Quhanso thai walk into thar caroling,
For amorus lays doith the Rochys2 ryng.

The French carole was a dance-song. Its beginnings have been traced by the learning of M. Gaston Paris, M. Alfred Jeanroy, and M. Jean Bédier to the twelfth century, when the courtly life of castle and manor in northern France was beginning to differentiate itself from the more homogeneous society of the eleventh century, and to develop a literature which was not as yet dominated by the amour courtois of Provence, with its eternal triangle of the woman, the lover, and the jealous husband. This is also the period of the poems variously called romances, chansons d'histoire, and chansons de toile. M. Jeanroy thinks that these themselves may have been danced. They were certainly also sung by women at their needlework. The first mention of a carole appears to be in the Anglo-Norman Wace's account, about. 1155, of King Arthur's wedding. Here the women carolent and the men behourdent, 'jesting' while they watch the performance. So, too, in another early poem quoted by M. Jeanroy,

Les dames main a main se tiennent,
Et tout ainsi come elles viennent
Se prent chacune a sa compaigne,
Ne nus hons ne s'i accompaigne
.3

____________________
1
dail (dale).
2
Rochys (rocks).
3
'Nor is any man in their company.'

-66-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
English Literature at the Close of the Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford History of English Literature i
  • The Oxford History of English Literature ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Editors' Note v
  • Contents vi
  • I Medieval Drama 1
  • II The Carol and Fifteenth-Century Lyric 66
  • III Popular Narrative Poetry and the Ballad 122
  • IV Malory 185
  • Bibliography 206
  • Index 233
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 252

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.