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Knowing Poetry – Verse in Medieval France from the Rose to the Rhétoriqueurs - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Knowing Poetry: Verse in Medieval France from the Rose to the Rhétoriqueurs

Adrian Armstrong and Sarah Kay


In the later Middle Ages, many writers claimed that prose is superior to verse as a vehicle of knowledge because it presents the truth in an unvarnished form, without the distortions of meter and rhyme. Beginning in the thirteenth century, works of verse narrative from the early Middle Ages were recast in prose, as if prose had become the literary norm. Instead of dying out, however, verse took on new vitality. In France verse texts were produced, in both French and Occitan, with the explicit intention of transmitting encyclopedic, political, philosophical, moral, historical, and other forms o ... More

Keywords: verse narrative, Middle Ages, prose, verse texts, knowledge transmission, France, poetry, poetic exploration

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449734
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449734.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Adrian Armstrong, author
The University of Manchester

Sarah Kay, author