James Thomson: The Castle of Indolence (3243 words)


The Castle of Indolence (1748) is, as the rest of its title―“An Allegorical Poem, Written in Imitation of Spenser”―indicates, a poem in Spenserian stanzas, and one of a number of eighteenth-century examples, including, for instance, William Shenstone’s The School-Mistress (1737) and James Beattie’s The Minstrel (1771). The Castle of Indolence is also comparable on its own terms to major developments in what can be termed the Romantic revival of the Spenserian stanza, particularly evident in works by Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Keats (whose use of the stanza in all cases post-dates Thomson’s, and may well have been influenced by his).

The Castle of Indolence is a peculiar …

Citation: White, Adam. "The Castle of Indolence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1355, accessed 28 October 2020.]

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