Anonymous: The Owl and the Nightingale (2561 words)


The Owl and the Nightingale (sometimes Hule and Nightingale) is one of the most extensively studied poems in English, yet there is almost no consensus among critics on key questions. The date has been disputed, the place of composition is not precisely defined, and while authorship is possibly by Nicholas of Guildford, little or nothing is known about him. While critics have described it as a debate poem or as an allegory, both categories are problematic and should probably be rejected. Where critics do agree is that the poem displays a high level of technical skill, is comic, and in its details it provides a glimpse of the world of late mediaeval England. At 1,794 lines, it is a substantial text in Middle English.

Citation: Davis, Graeme. "The Owl and the Nightingale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 November 2018 [, accessed 25 October 2021.]

38867 The Owl and the Nightingale 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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