A discussion of the Pearl stanza as an approach to the poem

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jean Goodwin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Pearl, written in the second half of the fourteenth century, remains today an intriguing combination of lyric and narrative poetry. Dramatic throughout, it at the same time has an emblematic quality which is developed through symbolic ornamentation. Both of these levels work toward a cyclic effect, and the end of the poem is a return to the beginning. Themes work against and/or with each other to create tensions, and even these tensions are at times elusive. Much scholarship on the Pearl has sought to find the key to disentangling the shifting themes which are so abundant in this psychological vision. In most cases, however, questions concerning the artistic nature and the structural form of Pearl are never raised. At the end of his interpretation, René Wellek called attention to the fact that Pearl scholarship is wanting in this type criticism. The actual study of the artistic value of the poem is still in its beginnings," he wrote. "Even the obvious approach through questions of meter and structure has not been much utilized hitherto."

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1968

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