Fulke Greville's Caelica: The Work of an Elizabethan

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Authors
Newcomb, James Winfield
Issue Date
1965
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Thesis
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en_US
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In 1633, Fulke Greville's sonnet sequence, Caelica, was posthumously published. In 109 sonnets of varying length, Greville addresses his poems to the woman of the title as well as to "Myra," "Cynthia," and "Gala." The names of these women were used, it seems, quite arbitrarily, and may possibly have been interchangeable with one another. Because the sonnet tradition was at its zenith during Greville's lifetime Caelica should naturally be studied in this tradition. Were many of the characteristics of this tradition less stylized, Greville's departures from the established forms might not be as emphasized as they have been in modern scholarship. Because Elizabethan sonneteers most generally adhered strictly to the strictures of the sonnet convention, Greville's relatively minor departures from the convention are often quite exaggerated. Not only does Greville move in his later sonnets away from the love motif which was paramount in his early sonnets, but within the love motif itself he treats of love from a great many viewpoints. Such manifestations of Greville's individuality have caused modern criticism to view him as the precursor of a later age.
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Creighton University
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