Thomas Hoccleve: The Complaint

(1601 words)

The Complaint, as the opening segment of Hoccleve’s Series, tells the story of its narrator’s recovery from a “wylde infirmitee” and establishes the subject matter for the Series’ second section, the Dialogue with a Friend. As a poem it is thematically interesting, connected to issues of self and subjectivity, autobiography and literary convention, intentionality and textual artifice. The poetic persona of The Complaint relates how he experienced a period of apparent mental instability, and the poem also touches upon the narrator’s perception of his own subsequent social stigmatization as he considers the change in the reaction of the community towards him. …

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.

Cummings, Raymond. "The Complaint". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 March 2008
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]