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By Louise Schleiner

This publication makes use of techniques from A.-J. Greimas to investigate Spenser's Shepheardes Calendar as a discourse and as a definitive textual content for the Elizabethan "political unconscious." It unearths, besides an evidence of the libidinal and political functioning of the Calender, an "ideologeme" greatly observable within the 1580s and 1590s, that of the captive/capturing girl.

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But when the Catholic marriage plan proved simply too inflammatory, she abandoned it and at last ceased her effort at inter-confessional balance: she permitted the Recusancy Act of 1580 to impose heavy fines and penalties on practicing Catholics, and from then on defined herself as a commited Protestant queen, albeit by no means willing to weaken the episcopal authority of her hierarchical state church, nor indeed to give serious hearing to any further reformist measures within it. The fall and winter of 1579-80 is the moment of this historically consequential decision, which the Calender addresses.

Compositional Order and Colin's Framing of Male and Female Loves in The Shepheardes Calender 179 The Easy Moves in the Game of Who's Who: The Clear Identities 183 The Trickier Moves of the Game: The Beclouded Identities 187 Groupings among the Eclogues and their Order of Composition 193 Colin's Two Loves 199 Appendix 1. Algorithm or Description Procedures Used 202 Appendix 2. Data of the Algorithm's Application 208 Notes 240 Bibliography 265 Index 275 Page 9 Acknowledgements I thank the administrators of the E.

My initial questions were why did he publish, as his debut book, these pedantically framed, antiqued and anglicized eclogues circling around a depiction of himself as Colin Clout, a silenced poet with arms outstretched for admiring sympathy and support? And second, howby what means and strategiesdid the book safely address the politically defined audiences to whom it refers? It was a moment when rashness could get one executed, or at least a hand chopped off. We come then to the issues of how to read The Shepheardes Calender.

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