Taylor, Jefferey H. Books
Dr. Jefferey H. Taylor is Associate Professor of English at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He received his Ph.D. in English from Southern Illinois University. Much of his research involves applying the Grid/Group theory of the anthropologist Mary Douglas to literature and rhetoric. He is also involved in a project undertaken by the International Boethius Society to catalog and analyze the many translations of Boethius’ Consolatio.2006 0-7734-5578-7
This study explores the four levels of medieval allegory (literal, typological, tropological, and anagogical) in the York Cycle, arguing that these epistemological perceptions were not merely scholastic tools but an integral part of social cosmology. This study applies current anthropological theories found in New Historicism while resisting the common tendency to use cultural localizing to negate generalized interpretations, which undermines the very purpose of these theories. Analysis of the literal level demonstrates that these plays were culturally evocative, refuting their common description as didactic impositions. The typology implied in the cycle’s structure reveals the Boethian Time/Eternity contrast at the heart of medieval cosmology. Tropological analysis reveals a nominalist epistemology in the Fall and Redemption argument, aligning these productions with the fifteenth-century mystical nominalism of Nicholas of Cusa and the verisimilitude of the Flemish painters. Analysis of the cycle as an extended anagoge explores the ritual level of medieval York’s self-defining discourse and the ritual compensation for the inability to directly possess God’s Eternity and the cultural past, the central sources of contemporary cultural meanings. This work will appeal to all students of medieval culture and literature and students of drama.