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Prophet Margins

The Medieval Vatic Impulse and Social Stability


Edward Risden, Karen Moranski and Stephen Yandell

While poets have traditionally inhabited cultural margins, prophets have brought poetic language to the center of cultural debate, not foretelling the future so much as diagnosing the present. This exciting collection of nine essays examines the range of social and political implications that inflects poetic discourse, from the Old English and Latin texts of the Anglo-Saxon world to the Scotland and England of the Renaissance. Whether saints’ lives, Germanic heroic epics, chronicles, or satiric poems, the works discussed in this book retain their verbal power, if not their political influence, into our own time.
Contents: Edward L. Risden/Stephen Yandell/Karen R. Moranski: Introduction: Prophecy as Political Discourse – Edward L. Risden: Old English Heroic Poet-Prophets and Their (Un)stable Histories – William P. Hyland: Prophecy and Community Leadership in Rudolph of Fulda’s Vita Leobae – Heinz Baader: Wolfram’s Culturally Prophetic Parzival – Mickey Sweeney: Gawain’s Tempting Helen: Prophesying the Fall of Camelot – Stephen Yandell: Prophetic Authority in Adam of Usk’s Chronicle – William F. Hodapp: Performing Prophecy: The Advents of Christ in Medieval Latin Drama – Russell Rutter: Printing, Prophecy, and the Foundation of the Tudor Dynasty: Caxton’s Morte Darthur and Henry Tudor’s Road to Bosworth – Theodore L. Steinberg: Poetry and Prophecy: a Skelton Key – Karen R. Moranski: The Son Who Rules «all Bretaine to the sey»: The Whole Prophesie and the Union of Crowns.