Saturday, January 19, 2008

James Doelman: "The Parodic Epitaph"

Dr. James Doelman
Department of English
Brescia University College
University of Western Ontario

“A Libell, for an Epitaph”: The Parodic Epitaph in the Early Stuart Period

1 comment:

Siobhan Collins said...

--great paper, and congratulations on coining the term "Parodic Epitaphs" for the subgenre you discuss, which I'm sure will gain currency!

I thought you might enjoy the following lines from Henry King's elegy, "To the Memorie of My Ever Desired Friend D. Donne":

"...t' have had too much merit, is not safe;
For, such excesses finde no Epitaph.
At common graves we have Poetique eyes
Can melt themselves in easy Elegies,
And pin it, like the Hatchments, to the Hearse:
But at thine, Poeme, or Inscription
(Rich soule of wit, and language) we have none".

Donne, of course, figured himself as a "parodic epitaph" of "every dead thing":

" The worlds whole sap is sunke:
The generall balme th'hydroptique earth hath drunk,
Whither, ... life is shrunke,
Dead and enterr'd; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compar'd with mee, who am their Epitaph".

--from "A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies Day"