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dc.contributor.authorWilcox-Mahon, Conor
dc.date.accessioned2022-05-04T15:33:03Z
dc.date.available2022-05-04T15:33:03Z
dc.date.submitted2021-12-03
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/336727
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the function of rest in Edmund Spenser’s epic romance poem The Faerie Queene. Noting the pervasive importance of rest to the narrative of all six books, it argues that the states of rest frequently encountered on the level of character have a vital connection to Spenser’s poetic practice. As pauses in the temporal fabric of The Faerie Queene, I show, they are necessary to sustain the poem and to shape its course. This is a study, therefore, of how things come to a halt in The Faerie Queene, the paradigm of which is the medial caesura of the poetic line. Spenser’s stanzaic form overlays with such a framework of regular pause complex and central points of rest for character, author, and reader, each of whom need to stop temporarily in their respective journeys before resumption. My method makes use of both ancient rhetorical theory and modern theory to bring out these issues. Each of my chapters explores a different kind of context for stopping, to show how scenes of rest concentrate some of The Faerie Queene’s most persistent concerns. First, I discuss rest in terms of Spenser’s ‘periodic style’, as a narrative requirement for temperate and intelligible pacing. My next two chapters balance accounts of space from Jacques Derrida and Gaston Bachelard, showing respectively that true rest can be elusive particularly in the context of the printed text; and that Spenser is able to structure moments of genuine pause, this time with reference to material structures: tents, bowers, and pavilions. My next chapter builds on the preceding to argue that even such states as astonishment and single combat deserve to be treated under the same rubric of rest, which is finally placed in a theological context of final rest in my last chapter. Overall I show that the pauses of The Faerie Queene are in an essential tension with its telos, and layer several of its most important hermeneutic and poetic concerns. Rest conceived in this way shows itself to be a structural principle which cuts across the various temporalities incorporated by The Faerie Queene, revealing both their alignments and their discontinuities.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was funded through a Vice-Chancellor's award from The Cambridge Trust
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.rights.urihttps://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved/
dc.subjectEdmund Spenser
dc.subjectThe Faerie Queene
dc.subjectEnglish literature
dc.subjectepic
dc.subjectromance
dc.subjectliterary criticism
dc.titleRest and Pause in The Faerie Queene
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoral
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.date.updated2022-05-04T09:24:37Z
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.84147
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttps://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved/
rioxxterms.typeThesis
cam.supervisorAlexander, Gavin
cam.depositDate2022-05-04
pubs.licence-identifierapollo-deposit-licence-2-1
pubs.licence-display-nameApollo Repository Deposit Licence Agreement
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2023-05-04


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