Clerical Portraits in selected Poets from the Fourteenth Century and the Eighteenth Century
This paper examines the relationship between clerical portraits in some poems from the Medieval Age and the Restoration period and the writers" changing perceptions of their roles as social reformers. The authors of this study argues that clerical characters should be understood in terms of ancient literary tradition: the "balanced portrait." This paper shows how the balance remained an integral part of the writers" technique and suggested their relationship to the clerical figures. In the works from the fourteenth century the writers employed balanced portrait, in which both the negative and the positive are juxtaposed, to provide the ideal clergymen. During the Civil War period poets began destroying the conventional antithesis. Though the balance still existed, the references to good clergymen are politically charged and begin to question the clergy"s role as moral reformer.
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