Spenser’s satire of indirection
Affiliation, allusion, allegory
in Spenserian satire

Chapter 2 begins by discussing previous scholarly work on Spenserian satires with reference to the ideas on indirect satire outlined in chapter 1 before moving to an application of these ideas to two Spenserian contexts. First, the chapter considers Spenser’s self-designation as “the New Poet” in The Shepheardes Calender as an allusion that signals satirical intent. Whereas the “Old Poet” referenced is clearly Chaucer, the phrase “new poet” itself serves as an allusion, setting up a satiric genealogy connecting Spenser to John Skelton and, through him, to Catullus (a poet who, though “new” to Cicero, was an “old” poet when the young Virgil briefly imitated him before rejecting his style to form his own). The second half of the chapter examines Spenser’s use of allegorical satire and allegory as satire in Daphnaïda, analyzing the ways that Spenser signals readers to interpret the poem satirically through playful use of allegory and metaphor.

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Spenserian satire

A tradition of indirection

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