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‘Y slepe, and myn herte wakith’: Music and Visual Art in Middle English Dream Visions

KUNTZ, KOREN (2019) ‘Y slepe, and myn herte wakith’: Music and Visual Art in Middle English Dream Visions. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis applies an interarts approach to the Middle English dream visions, Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess (BD), The House of Fame (HF), The Parliament of Fowls (PF), James I of Scotland’s The Kingis Quair (KQ), and the anonymous Pearl. It considers the application and presentation in these poems of ideas relating to hearing and vision, and the arts which engage them, music and figurative art. The first chapter outlines relevant theoretical contexts of speculative and practical music: antique Neoplatonism (via Calcidius, Proclus, and Macrobius), Augustine, twelfth-century liberal arts treatises, and French attitudes toward musical composition, lyric narrative, and the proper expression of emotional truth. The second chapter follows with an analysis of music (including harmony, discord, noise, and vox) in BD, with an emphasis on meaningful sound and lyric composition; HF on the symbolism of corporeal speech; PF in relation to harmony, polyphony, and discordant concord; and concluding with the internalisation of harmony and triumph of artistic self-realisation in KQ. The second part of the thesis concerns vision and visual art, with a chapter on natural philosophical, theological, and mystical theories of bodily and mental vision, spiritual illumination, the comparison of nature and art, and the literary techniques of visualisation, enargeia and ekphrasis. These themes are elucidated with reference to Bernardus Silvestris’ Cosmographia, Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae, and the Roman de la rose. The final main chapter examines creative recollection and the relationship between poetry and visual experience in BD; the instability of perception and visualisation of abstract process of motion and transformation of meaning in HF; and contemplation, symbolism, illumination, and Grosseteste’s theory of multiplication of species in Pearl.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:dream vision, dream poetry, neoplatonism, Chaucer, James I of Scotland, Pearl, multiplication of species, concordia discors, harmony, intermediality, interarts, musica, Boethius, Alan of Lille, polyphony, ekphrasis, enargeia, Bernardus Silvestris, Roman de la rose, Ars nova, Calcidius, Proclus, vox, Pseudo-Dionysius, Robert Grosseteste, illumination, reflection, distortion, clarity
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Jun 2019 10:03

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