Gower Bibliography

The Royal Stanza in Early English Literature

Stevens, Martin. "The Royal Stanza in Early English Literature." PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 94.1 (1979), pp. 62-76.

Review

Stevens examines the origins of the royal stanza as a royal ceremonial device and then shows how Chaucer expands its usage and range. In the course of tracing the history of the stanza, Stevens points out that when John Quixley introduces Gower's French ballades in the Traitié (around 1400) he refers to them as "balades ryale." Stevens also agrees with John Fisher that the stanza may have been employed in the mock royal feasts of the London puy and that Gower's French balades should be read in that context (64). Finally, the stanza's association with royalty is amply demonstrated by the CA's departure from octosyllabic couplets in Book 8’s supplication to (Queen) Venus and by its use in "In Praise of Peace" written for Henry IV (65). [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:In Praise of Peace
Style, Rhetoric, and Versification
Cinkante Balades
Traité pour Essampler les Amants Marietz
Confessio Amantis

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata