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The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age$
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K. P. Van Anglen and James Engell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429641

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.001.0001

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Changes of Address: Epic Invocation in Anglophone Romanticism

Changes of Address: Epic Invocation in Anglophone Romanticism

Chapter:
(p.126) Chapter 5 Changes of Address: Epic Invocation in Anglophone Romanticism
Source:
The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age
Author(s):

Herbert F. Tucker

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.003.0006

The epic poet’s invocation to the Muse is no sooner underway than it must demonstrate that the power it seeks has been conferred already. Inspiration is as inspiration does: this generic tautology came under chronic pressure within the dispensation of Romanticism, when epic greatness migrated into the psyche, creativity became heroism, and bards emerged as their own protagonists. This chapter analyzes variations on the classical template that were executed on either side of 1800 by poets major and minor, female and male, British and American. It shows how the convention of claiming the Muse’s favors became a feat that epitomized, at the threshold of the text, Romanticism’s epic adventure.

Keywords:   muse, invocation, epic, Romanticism, Heroism, psyche

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