Confusion and disappointment in the dream world: the allegorical senses, courtly language, and poetic landscape in Pearl Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7p88ck74r

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  • My current Project on the late fourteenth-century Pearl observes the workings of allegory, courtly language, and poetic landscape. During this study, I pursue the elements of the poem that suggest a lack of spiritual growth and change, and an abundance of pain, torment, and confusion for the poem's narrator. I observe the similarities between landscapes and how these similarities lead to the narrator's confusion and repeated misunderstandings. Additionally, I discuss the narrator's swaying emotions and connect this emotional instability to both his potential to experience the joy of memory, as well as his inability to hold onto and interpret the feelings produced by his allegorical surroundings. Throughout this study, I observe the close contrary between joy and grief. The narrator experiences the joy of memory, but he never understands how to use this joy as consolation. Despite the Maiden's attempts to enlighten the narrator, he never understands that his temporary joy is akin to the joy the Maiden experiences eternally in Paradise. I also address questions concerning how the narrator can change and grow spiritually when the Pearl-Maiden's courtly language and attire reinforce his every earthly assumption. I find that the familiar landscape of the dream world, and the courtly language of the Maiden, only serves to stunt the narrator's spiritual growth.
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