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Death and Purgatory in Middle English Didactic Poetry - Takami Matsuda

Death and Purgatory in Middle English Didactic Poetry

Hardcover Published: 23rd October 1997
ISBN: 9780859915076
Number Of Pages: 288

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Purgatory has been the focus of much literary and historical attention since Jacques Le Goff's important Naissance du Purgatoire(1981), but this is the first book-length study to trace its development, reception and influence in Middle English literature.Following a survey of the doctrine of Purgatory and its cultural reception, the book explores the two major Middle English genres in which it is discussed, visions of the afterlife, and didactic and homiletic treatises on death. In a detailed examination of these, along with sermons and lyrics, the author argues that such writings tend to be structured around the dualism of salvation and damnation, heaven and hell, with no intermediary alternative; at the same time the efficacy of intercession in the alleviation of suffering is repeatedly stressed. The book goes on to suggest that the influence of Purgatory was to provide a more pragmatic and optimistic attitude towards death and the afterlife, as reflected in such poems as the Vernon lyrics.
TAKAMI MATSUDAis Associate Professor in the Department of English and American Literature at Keio University.

Industry Reviews

This careful, wide-ranging study traces the effects of the popularization of the concept of Purgatory on English vernacular literature on death and the afterlife... A welcome contribution to the recent burgeoning interest in medieval representations of death and the afterlife. MEDIUM AEVUM An important study of two vast, linked, preoccupations of medieval culture, devotion and literature. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

List of Illustrations
Introductionp. 1
The Doctrine of Purgatory and Late Medieval Attitudes Towards Death and the Afterlifep. 5
The Reception of Purgatory in Late Medieval Didactic Literature and Artp. 34
The twelfth- and thirteenth-century Latin visions of Purgatoryp. 34
The English visionary texts on Purgatory in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuriesp. 60
The discussion of Purgatory in Middle English didactic and homiletic treatisesp. 78
The iconography of Purgatory in late medieval artp. 94
The didacticism of Middle English religious writings on deathp. 108
The Middle English Homiletic Poems on Deathp. 112
The homiletic structure of the Middle English lyrics on death and their manuscript contextp. 112
The body and soul dialogue in Middle Englishp. 132
The Presence of Purgatory in the Middle English Religious Poemsp. 147
References to Purgatory among the Middle English lyrics on deathp. 147
Purgatory in British Library, MS Additional 37049p. 151
Purgatory in the poems of John Audelayp. 167
Literature of Pragmatic Prudence Before Deathp. 174
The medieval concept of prudencep. 174
Middle English aphoristic writings on prudence before deathp. 182
The ars moriendip. 187
The poems on the ages of manp. 192
The Vernon and Digby 102 poemsp. 206
Ecclesiastes and the Vernon poems on death and transiencep. 217
Conclusionp. 234
Unpublished Related Textsp. 238
Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 272
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780859915076
ISBN-10: 0859915077
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 23rd October 1997
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.79