Sources and Traditions of Milton’s “L’allegro” and “Il Pensoroso”

Author: Hurley, C.
Year:1999
Pages:168
ISBN:0-7734-7913-9
978-0-7734-7913-5
Price:179.95
This study not only enables a modern audience to assess more fully the nature of Milton’s creativity but also to experience more clearly the companion poems as Milton’s contemporary readers – unencumbered by several centuries of scholarly commentary and accretion – might have experienced them.

Reviews

“The value of this book lies both in its contribution to a clearer reading of the twin compositions and in its demonstration of the rich ore to be mined in source study. Some time-honored interpretations simply fade away when the poems are seen in the context of the traditions from which they sprang. . . . Hurley demonstrates how Milton drew from a variety of traditions and transformed them for his own purposes. . . Hurley helps us to understand and appreciate more fully Milton’s transformation of the melancholy, pastoral, and character traditions as we watch him at work in his smithy.” – LeMoyne Mercer

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface, Foreword
1. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” – The Texts
2. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” and Source Study
3. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” and Melancholy: Robert Burton’s “The Author’s Abstract of Melancholy” and The Anatomy of Melancholy; John Fletcher’s “Melancholy”; William Strode’s “Opposite to Melancholy”; John Marston’s “Proemium in librum primum” and “Satire XI”; The Melancholy Tradition
4. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” and the Pastoral: Natural Landscapes; Nicholas Breton’s “Passion Three” of The Passionate Shepheard; Anonymous’ “The louer describeth his whole state vnto his love . . . “; Milton’s “First Prolusion”; Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and Sir Walter Ralegh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”; The Pastoral Tradition
5. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” and the “Character” Tradition
6. “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” : A Final Assessment of Milton’s Achievement
Appendices: Robert Burton’s “The Author’s Abstract of Melancholy” ; John Fletcher’s “Melancholy”; William Strode’s “Opposite to Melancholy”; John Marston’s “Proemium in librum primum” and “Satire XI”; Nicholas Breton’s “Passion Three” of The Passionate Shepheard; Anonymous’ “The louer describeth his whole state vnto his love . . . “;Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” ;Sir Walter Ralegh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”; Sir Thomas Overbury’s “A Melancholy Man”; Wye Saltonstall’s “A Melancholy Man” and “A Merry Man”; John Earle’s “A Contemplative Man”; Wye Saltonstall’s “A Happy Man”
Works cited, Index