Thomas Hoccleve: The Dialogue With A Friend

(988 words)

The Dialogue with a Friend proceeds from the conclusion of Hoccleve’s Complaint. It establishes a scenario in which the writer of the Complaint has just completed this first poem of the Series when he is visited by one of his oldest and dearest friends (“my good friend / of fern agoon”). The character of the poet, who remains the narrative persona through the course of the Dialogue, reads the Complaint (“my conpleynte”) to the anonymous Friend. What immediately follows is a series of arguments through which the Friend attempts to dissuade the character of “Thomas” from revealing the Complaint to the community around them:

“[…]Hast thow …
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Cummings, Raymond. "The Dialogue With A Friend". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2008
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]