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Adrift in the flood: The poetic persona in Antoine Garissoles' Adolphid

Date & Time:
October 5, 2017 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Social Sciences 1015
Sofia Guthrie (PhD candidate, University of Warwick, England)

While the speaking poet in classical Roman epic rarely had prominence in the narrative, the persona of the Renaissance or Baroque epic poet was very conspicuous as a constructed character. By the early modern period the format of the printed book had offered new possibilities for delineating the poet: paratextual material, such as prefaces and dedications, supplied new methods and contexts through which an authorial persona could be developed. 

The Adolphid (Montauban, 1649) celebrates the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus as the defender of his fellow Protestants in the Thirty Years' War. Its author was Antoine Garissoles (1587-1651), a Huguenot pastor and professor of Theology. This text, though reliant on Virgil's Aeneid as a classical model, illustrates Renaissance developments: the significance of the authorial persona emerges as the text proceeds. In fact, the title page, the dedication letter, the preface, and the ensuing narrative of the poem all present different facets of the poet. His cameos often involve sustained nautical imagery which ultimately stages him as a protagonist of the story that he is telling. This talk will explore the characterisation of the poet and assess its literary, religious and political implications

Presented by MARCS: the Medieval and Renaissance Cultural Studies Research Group.