Title page for ETD etd-11112008-091659

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Flory, Sean
Author's Email Address sflory1@lsu.edu, sflory@jc.edu
URN etd-11112008-091659
Title How to Remember Thee?: Problems of Memorialization in English Writing, 1558-1625
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Anna Nardo Committee Chair
Malcolm Richardson Committee Member
Robert Hamm Committee Member
Susannah Monta Committee Member
Mary Sirridge Dean's Representative
  • funeral sermon
  • suneral elegy
  • Sir Philip Sidney
  • Edmund Spenser
  • Prince Henry
  • James I
  • ritual
  • Protestant religion
  • religious ceremony
  • reformation
  • religious studies
  • English Renaissance
  • sixteenth century
  • seventeenth century
  • funeral
  • Faerie Queene
  • Ireland
  • England
Date of Defense 2008-08-05
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation focuses on the use of funeral commemoration in religious and political controversies in early modern England. By examining the rhetoric used in funeral sermons and elegies, I show that commemorative writers use figural interpretation of the Bible to legitimize praise by linking the deceased to characters from scripture. Figural interpretation places the dead into a framework of ecclesiastical history and creates Protestant saints used as exempla in political and religious debates. This dissertation examines funeral sermons, elegies, and other commemorative poems written between 1558 and 1625. Chapter one discusses the development of figural interpretation in Elizabethan funeral sermons. By reading sermons by Edmund Grindal, Thomas Sparke, Matthew Parker, and William Barlow, I show that figural interpretation allows preachers to use funeral sermons as reformed counterparts to medieval cults of political saints. Chapter two examines elegies written by George Whetstone, Thomas Churchyard, John Phillips, Edmund Spenser, and Mary Sidney after Sir Philip Sidneyís death in 1586. These poets support military intervention on the continent against Roman Catholic States by using figural interpretation to represent Sidney as a martyr. Chapter three discusses commemoration as a polemical tool for militant Protestants in Elizabethan Ireland by discussing funeral sermons for three Lords Deputy of Ireland and Book V of Edmund Spenserís The Faerie Queene. Chapter four considers the commemoration of Prince Henry in 1612 and argues that poets George Wither, Joshua Sylvester, and Henry Peacham, and the preacher Daniel Price use biblical figurae of kings David and Josiah to represent Henry as a militant Protestant saint. I also show that John Donne uses figural interpretation in his elegy to advance an agenda of religious pacifism. Chapter five examines funeral sermons preached after James Iís 1625 death. I argue that militant Protestant preachers like Daniel Price and Phineas Hodson and conformist preachers like John Donne and James Williams used different sets of figurae to support their sides in the debate over ceremonies in the English church. The conclusion calls for further research on the role of commemoration in early modern England as a whole, and in Donneís work in particular.
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