College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
S. Beth Newman Ooi, “Crossed Lines: Reading a Riddle between Exeter Book Riddle 60 and ‘The Husband’s Message’”
This article first argues that the twelve Old English poetic lines usually considered the beginning of “The Husband’s Message” in fact constitute an independent riddle, which can be solved “cross.” Then, the article suggests how this rediscovered riddle fits into a thematically-linked group within the Exeter Book. Riddle 30b, Riddle 60, this rediscovered riddle, and the remainder of “The Husband’s Message” represent a sequence of enigmatic texts concerning the way natural materials, transformed by people, interact with different kinds of symbols to create meaning. In Riddle 60 and the remainder of “The Husband’s Message,” natural materials become display-places for letters and runes, while in Riddle 30b and the rediscovered riddle, wood becomes the cross, an iconographic symbol in itself. Viewed in this context, the rediscovered riddle emphasizes the duality of the Anglo-Saxon conception of the cross as simultaneously object and symbol.
Zenón Luis-Martinez, “Whose Banquet? Whose Coronet? Whose Zodiac?: George Chapman and Seventeenth-Century Ovid Sammelbände”
First published in quarto in 1595, George Chapman’s Ovid’s Banquet of Sence was reissued in octavo in 1639, five years after the poet’s death. Despite its scarce value from a strictly textual point of view, there are circumstances that signal this second edition as an important document in the history of this work’s reception. First, the new publishers removed all traces of Chapman’s authorship and changed the poems’ titles to make them pass as Ovidian works. Besides, six of the extant copies of this edition have been preserved in Sammelbände containing other translations of Ovid’s works published no later than 1640. Drawing on recent work on the literary significance of material and editorial practices, this essay discusses the new meanings that Chapman’s poems acquire as they enter the dense intertextual, cross-referential universe of Ovid’s work and its multi-faceted poetic personae—lover, praeceptor amoris and exile. By enlarging their own conceptual and referential scope as the result of their Ovidian guise, Chapman’s “Banquet,” “Coronet,” and “Zodiac” contribute to the shaping of new literary and cultural interpretations of Ovid in late Caroline England.
David M. Bergeron, “Thomas Sampson Refashions Shakespeare’s Queen Elizabeth”
Thomas Sampson in 1613 published a poem, Fortunes Fashion, his only known publication. The poem, in the voice of the queen, focuses on Elizabeth Grey, widow of King Edward IV. Sampson revisits Shakespeare’s treatment of her in 3 Henry VI and Richard III and in 16th-century sources, as he creates an analysis of Elizabeth’s role and personality. The poet wants to restore Elizabeth, who has been unfairly forgotten, in his judgment. Sampson creates a strong, resolute, resourceful, and politically active queen. She exhibits agency, including political and rhetorical skill, in her action and function both as the focus and narrator of the poem. In this largely overlooked poem, Sampson makes an explicit and distinctive contribution to the understanding of Queen Elizabeth, filtered through the 16th-century chronicles and Shakespeare’s plays.
Sarabeth Grant, “Eliza Haywood’s ‘Frightful Extravagancies’ and Passionate Introspection”
Eliza Haywood’s theory of the passions has long been studied for its advocacy of healthy female sexuality, pushing against eighteenth-century views that position women as inherently virtuous and female desire as an aberration. Less emphasized is the cautionary element to her theory, her acknowledgement that, if not paired with reason, the passions can prove destructive. This article forefronts passionate introspection as the means of granting individuals, both male and female, strategies for negotiating their social interconnectedness with others, period restrictions regarding gender, and assumptions about civic participation. Through the use of examples provided in both her amatory fiction of the 1720s and her later, more overtly didactic novels and periodical essays, Haywood consistently creates an entertaining voice meant to instruct individuals in the proper handling of the passions so that they may avoid committing misdeeds, both morally and socially.