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Literate Laughter

Critical Essays in Medieval Narrative and Poetry

John C. Jacobs and John C. Jacobs

This volume serves as an introduction to the critical principles and practices of the renowned medievalist Theodore Silverstein. It contains a selection of important essays by Silverstein which illuminate the formal achievement of a range of medieval poets from Chaucer through Dante to the authors of various Gawain romances. In the center, however, stands the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which is analysed from various perspectives. Together these essays exemplify a rhetorical poetics of medieval narrative. They are complemented by contributions on courtly love and literary allegory.
Contents: Introduction: Cultural Studies, the Study of Culture, and Theodore Silverstein’s Defence of Poetry – Essays by Theodore Silverstein: Wife of Bath and the Rhetoric of Enchantment; or, How to Make a Hero See in the Dark - Rex Iustus et Pius: Henry’s Throne and Dante’s Christian Prince - The Art of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Sir Gawain in a Dilemma, or Keeping Faith with Marcus Tullius Cicero - Sir Gawain, Dear Brutus, and Britain’s Fortunate Founding: A Study in Comedy and Convention - Guenevere, or the Uses of Courtly Love - Allegory and Literary Form – Bibliography of the Writings of Theodore Silverstein.