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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on postcolonial criticism of Spenser. Spenser occupies a particular position as an especially wicked writer, because he, more than any of his illustrious contemporaries, actually was a colonist. His canon inspires a peculiar bewilderment which has led to an ambiguous, often confused attitude to his work and legacy. On the one hand, Spenser's work reflects an ideological hegemony that has developed from the need to justify the English presence in Ireland, something that has become ‘ingrained’ as part of the grubby intellectual furniture. On the other, Spenser can be seen as the originator of a discourse, a preeminent English poet whose writings were read and recycled and whose attitudes helped to expedite centuries of colonial rule in Ireland.

Keywords: postcolonial criticism, England, Ireland, English poet, colonial rule

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