The Cambridge Companion to Allegory (Cambridge Companions to Literature Series)

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Allegory is a vast subject, and its knotty history is daunting to students and even advanced scholars venturing outside their own historical specializations. This Companion will present, lucidly, systematically, and expertly, the various threads that comprise the allegorical tradition over its entire chronological range. Beginning with Greek antiquity, the volume shows how the earliest systems of allegory developed in poetry dealing with philosophy, mystical religion, and hermeneutics. Once the earliest histories and themes of the allegorical tradition have been presented, the volume turns to literary, intellectual, and cultural manifestations of allegory through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The essays in the last section address literary and theoretical approaches to allegory in the modern era, from reactions to allegory in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to reevaluations of its power in the thought of the twentieth century and beyond.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For such an unwieldy topic as allegory, editorial shaping is crucial: the editors deserve high praise for the resulting coherence and dynamism of the collection...One can spend time with the essays in this book, ruminating and reflecting on the powerful role that allegory has played in the history of western literature, art, and thought. In fact, creating and reading literature and art can be seen as a response to the allegorical impulse. The collection inspires the reader to (re)experience the literature and art of a period for him or herself."
-Marc Mastrangelo, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rita Copeland is Professor of Classical Studies and English and Chair of Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter Struck is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and serves on the graduate faculties of Religious Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Contributors viii

Chronology ix

Introduction Rita Copeland Peter T. Struck 1

Part I Ancient Foundations

1 Early Greek allegory Dirk Obink 15

2 Hellenistic allegory and early imperial rhetoric Glenn W. Most 26

3 Origen as theorist of allegory: Alexandrian contexts Daniel Boyarin 39

Part II Philosophy, Theology, and Poetry 200 to 1200

4 Allegory and ascent in Neoplatonism Peter T. Struck 57

5 Allegory in Christian late antiquity Denys Turner 71

6 Allegory in Islamic literatures Peter Heath 83

7 Twelfth-century allegory: philosophy and imagination Jon Whitman 101

Part III Literary Allegory: Philosophy and Figuration

8 Allegory in the Roman de la Rose Kevin Brownlee 119

9 Dante and allegory Albert R. Ascoli 128

10 Medieval secular allegory: French and English Stephanie Gibbs Kamath Rita Copeland 136

11 Medieval religious allegory: French and English Nicolette Zeeman 148

12 Renaissance allegory from Petrarch to Spenser Michael Murrin 162

13 Protestant allegory Brian Cummings 177

14 Allegorical drama Blair Hoxby 191

Part IV The Fall and Rise of Allegory

15 Romanticism's errant allegory Theresa M. Kelley 211

16 American allegory to 1900 Deborah L. Madsen 229

17 Walter Benjamin's concept of allegory Howard Caygill 241

18 Hermeneutics, deconstruction, allegory Steven Mailloux 254

19 Allegory happens: allegory and the arts post-1960 Lynette Hunter 266

Further reading 281

Index 286

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