Master's Theses

Date of Award

1933

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

English

Advisor

Dr. R.R. Macgregor

Abstract

To the student versed in the classics the influence of Greek and Latin pastoral poetry on English Literature is well known. Starting at the time of the Italian Renaissance and encouraged by the Greek Revival several centuries later, the classical influence has permeated our literature more than any other factor. During the time of the Renaissance pastoral poetry had a place of importance equal to that of the equip and the drama. The sweet melodies of Greek rural life reechoed in the eclogues of Vergil had such a charm for later poets that they could not be resisted. Pastoral poetry made men hearken back to the time when the occupation of the shepherd was the ideal life of contentment, unencumbered by worry and care. To men of the Renaissance this period of Greek history was the Golden Age; to them Arcadia was the model form of government and it was the dream of Utopian-minded people of the 15th century. Not only the country where pastoral poetry originated became the poets’ fancy, but also the language, the phraseology, and the name were imitated by writers of the Renaissance and later periods of English literature. For them pastoral life in its simplicity, kindliness, and happiness was the most fertile field of poetic endeavor. It is my purpose in this thesis to devote myself to one special form of pastoral poetry that has perpetuated the classical influence on English literature, - the pastoral elegy.

Rights

Copyright 1933 Alfred Carney

Comments

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