Gower Bibliography

The Allegorical Figure Genius

Knowlton, E. C. "The Allegorical Figure Genius." Classical Philology 15.4 (1920), pp. 380-384.


Knowlton sets out to trace the literary development of the figure Genius. After brief mention of early sources such as Claudian's Second Panegyric on the Consulship of Stilicho and Bernardus Silvester's De Mundi Universitate, Knowlton describes Genius's role in Alain of Lille, Jean de Meun, and John Gower. Whereas in Alain's De Planctu Naturae, Genius is Nature's "reverend secretary, a personage of statesman-like force" (384), in the Roman de la Rose "he has become an undignified and voluble confessor, amanuensis, and stump orator" (384). In Gower's CA, Genius continues to be associated with love affairs, but since Gower's chief aim is to tell stories, he "requires no great emphasis upon allegorical figures" (384). In the CA Genius therefore no longer retains the same conspicuous position as in Alain of Lille or Jean de Meun. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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