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Three Purgatory Poems
The Gast of Gy, Sir Owain, The Vision of Tundale

Edited by Edward E Foster

Three Purgatory Poems
Paperback, 312 pages £19.50
Published: 2004
ISBN: 9781580440820
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Subjects: Literary Studies, Medieval Institute Publications, Medieval Studies
Series: TEAMS Middle English Texts Series

Though our modern understanding of the medieval doctrine of Purgatory is generally shaped by its presentation by Dante in the Divine Comedy, there is a lengthy history of speculation about the nature of such a place of purgation. Through these fourteenth-century Middle English poems, readers can experience something of the controversies that surfaced and resurfaced even after Aquinas had articulated his doctrine of the Communion of Saints. The Gast of Gy, as Foster notes, puts a human face on the doctrine of Purgatory, not only in the amiable, logical, and patient person of the Gast of Gy himself, . . . but also in the careful and cautious dialogue between the Gast and the Pryor who questions him. Sir Owain and The Vision of Tundale present two accounts of the purgatorial journeys of living individuals who are offered a chance to see the torments they have brought upon themselves by their less-than-perfect lives along with the opportunity to return and amend those lives. All three poems were quite popular, as was the doctrine of Purgatory itself. And why not? As Foster notes in his general introduction, it the doctrine of Purgatory had everything: adventure and adversity, suffering and excitement, and, most importantly, a profound theological warning wrapped in the joyful solace of communion with the departed and hope for our own sinful selves.

Acknowledgments General Introduction General Bibliography Standard Abbreviations Three Purgatory Poems The Gast of Gy Introduction Select Bibliography Text Explanatory Notes Textual Notes Sir Owain Introduction Select Bibliography Text Explanatory Notes Textual Notes The Vision of Tundale Introduction Select Bibliography Text Explanatory Notes Textual Notes Glossary

Edward E. Foster was a Professor at Grinnell College in Iowa. He delighted in teaching classes in the Humanities Core, in Old and Middle English poetry, and in the history of the English language.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 312 pages

BIC Code:
 Medieval Institute Publications


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