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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Spenser saw both overlap and difference between classical philosophy and Christian theology. Spenser's interest in the philosophers was not identical to ours — he did not care whether the Timaeus was a product of Plato's middle or late period — but we can nonetheless grant, without denying his poetic wrigglings, that he recognized the presence of ‘problems’ within the philosophical works he read, and that in his poetry he uses these problems to help shape the contours of his fictional landscape. This article focuses on three such problems — eudaimonia, akrasia, and mutability — that stem from questions that most readers would agree are central to Spenser's art: Should we be happy? Why do we lose control over ourselves? What does change mean?

Keywords: Christian theology, philosophers, poetry, eudaimonia, akrasia, mutability

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