«by JANE ELIZABETH KINGSLEY-SMITH A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY The ...»
The Foure Prentices of London); for loving a person of unequal rank (Menaphon, The Rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune); through the machinations of an enemy at court (Mucedorus, The Maid's Metamorphosis). Subsequently, by wandering, by shipwreck, and occasionally by choice, the exile enters a pastoral landscape where shepherds offer succour and a new way of life. If disguise has not been necessitated by threatened execution or by the perils of the journey, it will often be adopted now. It is inevitable that the young exile will find love in the forest and the pastoral sojourn ends with the reconciliation of family members and/or former enemies, often preceding a betrothal. At this point the exiles are enabled to return to society.
Critics are justifiably unsure whether to locate the identity of pastoral in certain enduring literary norms and conventions, or in a specific (if perennial) subject, or in some continuity of feeling, attitude, 'philosophical conception', or mode of consciousness which informs the literary imagination but originates outside it.' Paul Alpers, who includes this quotation in the opening chapter of his monograph What is Pastoral?, proposes the 'representative anecdote' for pastoral, that which locates it in 'reality" and inspires its continual re-presentation, to be the fiction that herdsmen's lives are representative of human lives.2 Later, in our consideration of pastoral 'philosophy', shepherds will be seen to express fundamental truths about man's existence. For a glimpse of how exile fits in to pastoral tradition as plot device and as metaphor, Alpers' response to the question 'what is pastoral convention?' will prove most insightful. He refers back to the original Latin
root of 'convention', that is 'convenire', to come together:
Pastoral poems make explicit the dependence of their conventions on the idea of coming together. Pastoral convenings are characteristically occasions for songs and colloquies that express and thereby seek to redress separation, absence, or loss, (italics mine) Alpers assumes two kinds of movement: the physical coming together of shepherds and a psychological, 'redressive' movement from isolation to a recognition of shared human ' David Halperin, Before Pastoral: Theocritus and the Ancient Tradition of Bucolic Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), 76. Quoted by Paul Alpers, What is Pastoral? (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 11.
2 What is Pastoral^, 26.
3 Ibid., 80-1,81.
suffering. Both actions are found in Theocritus' first Idyll, the inspiration for Western pastoral literature, wherein shepherds gather to hear Thyrsis lament the death of Daphnis.
That exile might be the cause of this isolation and loss was recognised by Virgil in his first
Eclogue. The inspiration for Meliboeus' song is expulsion from his homeland:
But we must go hence - some to the thirsty Africans, some to reach Scythia and Crete's swift Oaxes, and the Britons, wholly sundered from all the world.
Ah, shall I ever, long years hence, look again on my country's bounds... 4 Virgil's eclogue is based on exile from the countryside so that Meliboeus' bucolic singing becomes an expression of what he will lose. In the pastoral tradition which developed, the singer's home is often located outside the natural landscape. The pastoral expression of loss becomes redressive in itself and the movement into the greenwood a kind of return. It may be that pastoral has an archetypal return at its heart, namely post-lapsarian man's desire to return to Eden and his original blessed state. Peter Marinelli suggests that the pattern of abandoning the city for the garden also expresses this myth. In both Classical and Judaeo-Christian history, the creation of cities is facilitated by man's enforced retreat from the pastoral life. 3 The desire to rediscover man's original innocence through a sojourn in a restorative landscape is fundamental to the journeys made by the exiled courtiers or runaways of pastoral literature. In A Natural Perspective, Northrop Frye identified the following tripartite structure as central to Shakespearean comedy and romance. In the beginning, the comic drive is opposed by an anti-comic society expressed by harsh or irrational law or tyranny. 6 The obvious dramatisation of this conflict is between the young protagonist and an authority 1 Virgil tr. by H. Rushton Fairclough (London: Heinemann, 1936). 2 vols., vol. 1, 9.
5 See Peter V. Marinelli, Pastoral (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1971), 10.
6 A Natural Perspective: The Development of Shakespearean Comedy and Romance (New York and London:
Columbia University Press, 1965), 73-8.
figure, the unrelenting father of A Midsummer Night's Dream or the irrational tyrant of As You Like It. Banishment is often the expression of this conflict and the entrance into the second phase of Frye's schema, that of temporarily lost identity, characterised by an impenetrable disguise and/or a change in gender. 7 In the final phase, the identity of these wandering characters is discovered and they are subsequently absorbed into a renewed social identity, a contract often sealed by marriage (78).
In A Map of Arcadia, Walter Davis offers a more detailed representation of the journey into
the greenwood, characteristic of pastoral romance:
the three parts of the pastoral setting represent a gradual purification toward the center: from the turbulent, heroic, and sometimes "subnaturaT world with all its complexities and accidents, to the simple natural world that includes the outer world's elements purified, to the supernatural center where the human and the divine meet. The action of the pastoral romance is simply the progress of the hero through the various areas of the setting: from the outer circle, into the inner circle, hence to the center, and out again. 8 It is a plot of a "peculiarly curative kind', a ritual of disintegration, education and reintegration, a physical and psychological movement. In the first phase, the protagonist enters the forest from the heroic world in some conflict deriving from grief or love. In the second phase, he learns to understand this conflict by means of his observation of other pastoral characters and by his interaction with them. Finally, he reaches the centre of the pastoral world, where, under the aegis of a god or a magician, he achieves peace of mind and 7 Frye also refers to the challenges to identity posed by identical twins, the headless body of Cloten masquerading as Posthumus, and by Prospero's island, A Natural Perspective, 77.
8 A Map ofArcadia: Sidney's Romance in its Tradition in Sidney's Arcadia by Walter R. Davis and Richard A.
Lanham (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1965), li-179, 38. The reference in As You Like It to Ganimede's magician-uncle living within the innermost circle of the forest (5.4.32-4) suggests the relevance of this definition to the play.
is finally released into the external world. 9 The influences upon pastoral in its development from classical lyric to Renaissance drama offer many precedents for the structural and metaphorical use of exile. The popular translations of Greek romance in the sixteenth century may have inspired the expression of separation, absence or loss that Alpers refers to in pastoral. 10 Carol Gesner describes several primary romance plots, based on a potion, a slandered bride and pastoral but remarks that 'The separation romance frequent in Western literature - Hero and Leander, Pyramus and Thisbe, Tristan and Isolde - is the basic structure of all extant Greek romances except Daphnis and Chloe\ u It recurs as the protagonist's separation from his wife by mistaken death in Apollonius of Tyre; as the lovers' flight from their parents' wrath in Clitophon and Leucippe; the abandonment at birth of the protagonists of Daphnis and Chloe. [2 Primarily though, with the exception of the latter romance, the separation plot divides the lovers from one another, leading to a succession of journeys and accidents until they are eventually reunited.
The banishment plot may also have been a popular feature in the tradition of secular romance drama from the Middle Ages, influenced by Greek romance but also by English and 9 Ibid.. 22, 38-9.
10 Carol Gesner describes the 'enormous popularity' of these Greek romances from 1470-1642. as evidenced by the existence of editions in Latin, scholarly Greek and vernacular translations. See Shakespeare and the Greek Romance: A Study of Origins (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1970), 16. Walter Davis reports that the three major romances, Heliodorus's Aethiopica, Longus' Daphnis and Chloe and Achilles Tatius' Clitophon and Leucippe first appeared in English in 1569, 1587 and 1597 respectively, Idea and Act in Elizabethan Fiction (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 156-7. Both critics refer to the important role played by Robert Greene in the popularisation of these romances, see Shakespeare and the Greek Romance, 49-50, 116-24, and Idea and Act, chp 5, 138-88.
" Shakespeare and the Greek Romance, 17.
12 See also Margaret Anne Doody's The True Story of the Novel (London: Fontana Press, 1998), chp. 2 'Love and Suffering: The Stories of the Ancient Novels', 33-61.
Continental folk tales (including that of Robin Hood). 13 Leo Salingar suggests that, as a child.
Shakespeare could have watched these plays. Though only three examples are extant, Clyomon and Clamydes (1570), Common Conditions (1576) and The Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune (1582), Salingar remarks upon the popularity of the motifs of a heroine enduring insecurity and danger (possibly in exile) for love, and of the father banished and restored to his family. 14 Finally, the chivalric romance might also inform the exile movement in Renaissance pastoral.
David Young proposes that this genre or mode is based on man's harmony or conflict with nature. 13 He attributes the 'dramatisation' of this relationship to the influence of chivalric
If the chivalric romance - with its tripartite structure of separation, wandering, and reunion which so easily corresponded to the movement into and return from the green world - had not existed, it would probably have been necessary to invent it in order to get the pastoral from the lyric to the narrative and dramatic modes. 16 If the chivalric romance, like these other sources, helped to give pastoral a plot, it also gave metaphorical richness to those actions, in particular that of banishment. Perhaps the locus classicus of metaphorical banishment in English Renaissance literature is Spenser's Faerie Queene. In this work "wandering" is not only a physical but a psychological state. Spenser
describes his otherwise unerring heroine, Una, after her abandonment by the Redcross knight:
13 See The Robin Hood Tradition in the English Renaissance by Malcolm A. Nelson (Salzburg: Universitat Salzburg, 1973).
14 Leo Salingar, Shakespeare and the Traditions of Comedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), 39.
15 The Heart's Forest: A Study of Shakespeare's Pastoral Plays (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972), 19. See also Davis,.-1 Map ofArcadia, 27-8.
16 The Heart's Forest, 19.
Wandering/exile in the forest is a dangerous condition for any maid. How dangerous is shown, not only by the characters' perilous encounters with beasts, giants and enchanters, but by the human fallibility which it partly expresses. The Redcross knight's spiritual doubt is signified by his entering the 'wandering wood' where he must battle against Error (1.1.12-27).
In Book III, Hellenore wanders in the forest after her willing seduction by Sir Paridell (III.X.36).
Another reason for wandering is that a great number of Spenser's protagonists are foundlings, a condition referred to by Spenser as 'exile'. 18 We are reminded of Frye's phase of temporarily lost identity with the exception that most of these characters have never known their 'original' selves and will not discover them during the course of the poem. The list of Spenser's foundlings includes Satyrane, Arthur, the Redcross knight. Pastorella and Artegall.
Of these, only Pastorella is reunited with the parents who were forced to abandon her (VI.XII. 19-22). Britomart's quest to find Artegall and discover to him his true British origins (and hence his duty to defend Britain against the Paynims) is only partly begun through their betrothal (III.III.27). No doubt if Spenser had produced the other six books he had planned then we should have had far more revelations of identity. But where wandering can express weakness or a particular transgression, exile may also be the mark of an extraordinary person.
When Sir Calepine relieves himself of his baby burden in Book VI. he tells the adoptive 17 The Faerie Queens ed. by Thomas P. Roche Jnr and C. Patrick O'Donnell (Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1987).
18 Satyrane grows up, 'Emongst wild beasts and woods, from lawes of men exilde' (I. VI.23.9). Similarly, when Justice decides to educate the child, Arthegall: 'So thence him farre she brought/ Into a cave from companie exilde' (V.I.6.6-7).
mother not to worry that the child is a foundling:
This perception of exile as a condition for greatness will recur in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Hence, banishment may be the cause of a character's wandering in the forest but also the loss that such wandering needs to redress. I want now to consider how the pastoral sojourn, and in particular the encounter with shepherds, may rejuvenate and re-socialise the exiled courtier.
From the beginning of the pastoral romance or play, there may be an assumption that exile means a removal to a 'better world'. The juxtaposition of court and country is one of the most obvious conventions, providing matter for debate between exile and shepherd and for a moralising of the landscape of pastoral. This morality depends on the virtue in simplicity.
Shepherds are seen to have renounced the indulgence and luxury of the court. There is an assumption that they are prevented from entering this world not through poverty or class but merely through philosophy. The pastoral life is a return to harmony with nature and thus to a 19 The central thesis of A. Bartlett Giamatti's work Exile and Change in Renaissance Literature (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984) is that humanism imagined itself banished from the Classical world.