John Skelton

(1957 words)
  • Karen Elaine Smyth (University of East Anglia)

Following in the medieval traditions of Chaucer, Gower, Lydgate and Latin verse, John Skelton (c.1460–1529) is a transitional poet, writing in the Early Tudor period and paving the way for Renaissance humanism. Often misconstrued, both in his day and in subsequent centuries, as being a supporter of the Reformation, he best merits attention as a political and religious satirist who criticises (rather than rebels against) the vices and dangers of courtly life and public popular fashions. However, Skelton remains a marginal figure in modern critical debates. There is little recognition of his achievements as a poet, parish priest, classicist, polemicist, rhetorician, satirist, and teacher of royals. He is much less noticed now than in …

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Smyth, Karen Elaine. "John Skelton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2003
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]