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Socioliterary Practice in Late Medieval England$
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Helen Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112426.001.0001

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Afterword: ‘Adieu Sir Churl’: Lydgate’s The Churl and the Bird 1

Afterword: ‘Adieu Sir Churl’: Lydgate’s The Churl and the Bird 1

(p.188) Afterword: ‘Adieu Sir Churl’: Lydgate’s The Churl and the Bird1
Socioliterary Practice in Late Medieval England


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses that Lydgate's short debate Between a Churl and a Bird used many of the formal features of literary language discussed in the previous chapters of the book. It describes the poem as illustrating the social mobility and inherent positionality of literary discourses. It adds that the poem was also a translation wherein a French tale was translated in order to deliver a lesson in social quietism and to sanction a conservative ordering of society as natural and God-given. It explains that the social disparity between the actors in the poem was consistently spelled out. The syntactical construction and diction of the poem also contributed to its meaning.

Keywords:   Lydgate, literary language, poem, syntactical construction, diction, social mobility, fable, social disparity

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