Title Background

Allegory and the Work of the Melancholy: The Late Medieval and Shakespeare

Allegory and the Work of the Melancholy: The Late Medieval and Shakespeare

This book considers the allegories of late fourteenth-century and fifteenth century texts and examines their investment in melancholia. This consideration derives from Walter Benjamin’s The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Benjamin sees allegory not so much a means of cognition but rather fragmentation, as breaking down systems of meaning, and hence allied with melancholia. Yet melancholia is also a source of allegory, as a desire to stabilize the self in the face of its fear of collapse. The book arranges its study of the poem’s allegorical detail, which illustrates feelings of melancholia, through developing separate sections on dreams, on mirrors, on remembering “Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate,” and on identity in the “autobiographical” section. [JT]

Volume

Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2004

Author

Tambling, Jeremy