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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses John Heywood's The Spider and the Fly, which was published in 1556, three years into Mary I's reign and two years after her marriage to Philip II of Spain. This 400-plus-page poem draws attention to its allegorical status in its opening lines. Heywood's Preface tells us of his poem's doubleness, of its ability to say one thing and mean another. We therefore begin to read expecting the poem's characters and plot to reflect real people and a real situation.

Keywords: poem, Mary I, allegory, Philip II of Spain

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