Middle English Lyric 1100-1500

(1595 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

“Lyric” is not a medieval term, but one that entered English critical discourse in the sixteenth century from classical genre theory and was later assimilated to Romantic theories of art as personal expression. The term now conventionally “signifies either a poem expressing personal emotion, or the words of a song” (see the Literary Encyclopedia entry on “Lyric”), but it is used more loosely in discussing medieval English literature to refer to any relatively short poem of the period, whether or not it expresses personal emotion and regardless of whether we know it was set to music. Only a very small number of lyrics from before ca.1400 survive with music, but it is possible that some of those that do not were once s…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Phelpstead, Carl. "Middle English Lyric 1100-1500". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1414, accessed 25 September 2016.]