Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author. Considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer has been styled the "Father of English literature" and was the first writer buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Chaucer achieved fame in his lifetime as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific A Treatise on the Astrolabe for his 10-year-old son Lewis, he maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat and diplomat. Among Chaucer's many other works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, he is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location remain unknown, his father and grandfather were both London vintners, several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich.
His family name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". In 1324, his father John Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the 12-year-old to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich; the aunt was imprisoned and fined £250, equivalent to £200,000 today, which suggests that the family was financially secure. John Chaucer married Agnes Copton who inherited properties in 1349, including 24 shops in London from her uncle Hamo de Copton, described in a will dated 3 April 1354 and listed in the City Hustings Roll as "moneyer", said to be moneyer at the Tower of London. In the City Hustings Roll 110, 5, Ric II, dated June 1380, Chaucer refers to himself as me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Londonie. While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.
The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments. The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, he worked as a courtier, a diplomat, a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid £16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, Chaucer was released. After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France and Flanders as a messenger and even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, a sister of Katherine Swynford, who became the third wife of John of Gaunt, it is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most cited. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas's daughter, married the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey, Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation. Chaucer's "Treatise on the Astrolabe" was written for Lewis. According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple at this time, he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.
His wife received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague. Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition. Numerous scholars such as Skeat and Rowland suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio, they introduced him to medieval the forms and stories of which he would use later. The purposes of a voyage in 1377 are mysterious, as details within the historical record conflict. Documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War.
If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful. In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English condottiere in Milan, it has been specu
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
The Friar's Tale
"The Friar's Tale" is a story in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, told by Huberd the Friar. The story centers around his interactions with the Devil, it is followed by The Summoner's Tale. On the way to extort money from a widow, the Summoner encounters a yeoman, dressed in Lincoln green, a costume worn by outlaws and poachers; the two men swear brotherhood to each other and exchange the secrets of their respective trades, the Summoner recounting his various sins in a boastful manner. The yeoman reveals that he is a demon, to which the Summoner expresses minimal surprise—he enquires as to various aspects of hell and the forms that demons take; each makes a vow with the other to share it between them. During their travels, they come upon a carter. Frustrated, he says. Hearing this, the Summoner asks the demon why he isn't holding him to his word and seizing the horses, they proceed to the house of the widow. The Summoner claims he will do better than the demon and fabricates a court summons in order that the widow will have to bribe him to dismiss the case.
He demands she give him a new pan in payment for an old debt, falsely claiming he paid a fine to get her off a charge of adultery. Incensed, the old woman damns the summoner to hell; the tale is a satirical and somewhat bitter attack on the profession of summoner—an official in ecclesiastical courts who summons people to attend—and in particular The Summoner, one of the other people on the pilgrimage. Unlike the Miller and the Reeve who tell tales that irritate the other and do not get on for that reason, the Friar and the Summoner seem to have a longstanding hatred between them because the summoner refused to resurrect his late wife because the friars payment of two goats and an ox was not enough; the Friar is of one of the mendicant orders which traveled about preaching and making their livings by begging. Part of the animosity between the two characters may be due to these orders of friars, formed recently, interfering with the work of the summoners. Once a friar had taken confession and given absolution to someone they could not be charged in an ecclesiastical court with the same sin.
The Friar's tale has no clear original source like many of Chaucer's tales but it is of a type, common and always seems popular: "the corrupt official gets their comeuppance". In the prologue the friar begins by making some pointedly rude remarks about the summoner in general; the host reprimands him, saying he should be mindful of his social standing and that he should get straight on with his tale. The Summoner replies that he should say what he wants to say but that he will pay him back in skin; the tale itself continues in the denigration of summoners with its vivid description of the work of a summoner. This includes bribery, extortion and a network of pimps and wenches acting as informants making this important clerical office seem more like a 14th-century protection racket; the Friar says that luckily friars are not under summoners' jurisdiction but the Summoner snaps back that neither are women in styves, meaning brothels. Indeed the Friar in the Prologue seems to be more wordly than was acceptable: he would rather go out on a hunt than stay in a monestary.
In other words the Friar and the Summoner are competiers in the same "rackets" Chaucer's special manuscript words "The Friar's Tale" – a plain-English retelling for non-scholars
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms, it focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary; the Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius; the other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.
It is accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries. Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music and film; the Homeric epics were the greatest influence on education. Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name'Homer'. In antiquity, a large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia, the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, the Phocais; these claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world.
As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer. Modern scholarly consensus is; some claims were repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works, that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, various explanations for the name "Homer"; the two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. Nonetheless, the aims of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia; the earliest preserved comments on Homer concern his treatment of the gods, which hostile critics such as the poet Xenophanes of Colophon denounced as immoral.
The allegorist Theagenes of Rhegium is said to have defended Homer by arguing that the Homeric poems are allegories. The Iliad and the Odyssey were used as school texts in ancient Greek and Hellenistic cultures, they were the first literary works taught to all students. The Iliad its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods; as a result of the poems' prominence in classical Greek education, extensive commentaries on them developed to explain parts of the poems that were culturally or linguistically difficult. During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, many interpreters the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom; because of the Homeric poems' extensive use in education, many authors believed that Homer's original purpose had been to educate. Homer's wisdom became so praised that he began to acquire the image of a prototypical philosopher. Byzantine scholars such as Eustathius of Thessalonica and John Tzetzes produced commentaries and scholia to Homer in the twelfth century.
Eustathius's commentary on the Iliad alone is massive, sprawling nearly 4,000 oversized pages in a twenty-first century printed version and his commentary on the Odyssey an additional nearly 2,000. In 1488, the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles published the editio princeps of the Homeric poems; the earliest modern Homeric scholars started with the same basic approaches towards the Homeric poems as scholars in antiquity. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems, so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists praised Homer as the archetypically wise poet, whose writings contain hidden wisdom, disguised through allegory. In western Europe during the Renaissance, Virgil was more read than Homer and Homer was seen through a Virgilian lens. In 1664, contradicting the widespread praise of Homer as the epitome of wisdom, François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac wrote a s
Alexandrine is a name used for several distinct types of verse line with related metrical structures, most of which are derived from the classical French alexandrine. The line's name derives from its use in the Medieval French Roman d'Alexandre of 1170, although it had been used several decades earlier in Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne; the foundation of most alexandrines consists of two hemistichs of six syllables each, separated by a caesura: o o o o o o | o o o o o o o=any syllable. Each applies additional options, thus a line, metrical in one tradition may be unmetrical in another. The term "alexandrine" may be used with lesser rigor. Peureux suggests that only French syllabic verse with a 6+6 structure is speaking, an alexandrine. Preminger et al. allow a broader scope: "Strictly speaking, the term'alexandrine' is appropriate to French syllabic meters, it may be applied to other metrical systems only where they too espouse syllabism as their principle, introduce phrasal accentuation, or rigorously observe the medial caesura, as in French."
Common usage within the literatures of European languages is broader still, embracing lines syllabic, accentual-syllabic, stationed ambivalently between the two. Although alexandrines occurred in French verse as early as the 12th century, they were looser rhythmically, vied with the décasyllabe and octosyllabe for cultural prominence and use in various genres. "The alexandrine came into its own in the middle of the sixteenth century with the poets of the Pléiade and was established in the seventeenth century." It became the preferred line for the prestigious genres of tragedy. The structure of the classical French alexandrine is o o o o o. Victor Hugo began the process of loosening the strict two-hemistich structure. While retaining the medial caesura, he reduced it to a mere word-break, creating a three-part line with this structure: o o o S | o o ¦ o S | o o o S |=strong caesura. However, at no point did the newer line replace the older; this loosening process led to vers libéré and to vers libre.
In English verse, "alexandrine" is used to mean "iambic hexameter": × / × / × / ¦ × / × / × / /=ictus, a strong syllabic position. Though English alexandrines have provided the sole metrical line for a poem, for example in lyric poems by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Sir Philip Sidney, in two notable long poems, Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion and Robert Browning's Fifine at the Fair, they have more featured alongside other lines. During the Middle Ages they occurred with heptameters, both exhibiting metrical looseness. Around the mid-16th century stricter alexandrines were popular as the first line of poulter's measure couplets, fourteeners providing the second line; the strict English alexandrine may be exemplified by a passage from Poly-Olbion, which features a rare caesural enjambment in the first line: The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, with its stanzas of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by one alexandrine, exemplifies what came to be its chief role: as a somewhat infrequent variant line in an otherwise iambic pentameter context.
Alexandrines provide occasional variation in the blank verse of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. John Dryden and his contemporaries and followers occasionally employed them as the second line of heroic couplets, or more distinctively as the third line of a triplet. In his Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope denounced the excessive and unskillful use of this practice: The Spanish alejandrino is a line of 7+7 syllables developed in imitation of the French alexandrine. O o o o o o o | o o o o o o o It was used beginning about 1200 for mester de clerecía occurring in the cuaderna vía, a stanza of four alejandrinos all with a single end-rhyme; the alejandrino was most prominent during the 13th and 14th centuries, after which time it was eclipsed by the metrically more flexible arte mayor. Juan Ruiz's Book of Good Love is one of the best-known examples of cuaderna vía, though other verse forms appear in the work; the mid-16th-century poet Jan van der Noot pioneered syllabic Dutch alexandrines on the French model, but within a few decades Dutch alexandrines had been transformed into strict iambic hexameters with a caesura after the third foot.
From Holland the accentual-syllabic alexandrine spread to other continental literatures. In early 17th-century Germany, Georg Rudolf Weckherlin advocated for an alexandrine
English Baroque is a term sometimes used to refer to the developments in English architecture that were parallel to the evolution of Baroque architecture in continental Europe between the Great Fire of London and the Treaty of Utrecht. Baroque aesthetics, whose influence was so potent in mid-17th century France, made little impact in England during the Protectorate and the first Restoration years. Sir Christopher Wren presided over the genesis of the English Baroque manner, which differed from the continental models by clarity of design and subtle taste for classicism. Following the Great Fire of London, Wren rebuilt fifty-three churches, where Baroque aesthetics are apparent in dynamic structure and multiple changing views, his most ambitious work was St Paul's Cathedral, which bears comparison with the most effulgent domed churches of Italy and France. In this majestically proportioned edifice, the Palladian tradition of Inigo Jones is fused with contemporary continental sensibilities in masterly equilibrium.
Less influential were straightforward attempts to engraft the Berniniesque vision onto British church architecture and the contemporary mood soon shifted toward the stripped down orthodoxy of British Palladianism popularised by Colen Campbell's influential Vitruvius Britannicus. Although Wren was active in secular architecture, the first Baroque country house in England was built to a design by William Talman at Chatsworth, starting in 1687; the culmination of Baroque architectural forms comes with Sir John Nicholas Hawksmoor. Each was capable of a developed architectural statement, yet they preferred to work in tandem, most notably at Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace. Appuldurcombe House, Isle of Wight, now in ruins, but conserved by English Heritage, must be mentioned. Castle Howard is a flamboyant assembly of restless masses dominated by a cylindrical domed tower. Blenheim is a more solid construction, where the massed stone of the arched gates and the huge solid portico becomes the main ornament.
Vanbrugh's final work was Seaton Delaval Hall, a comparatively modest mansion yet unique in the structural audacity of its style. It was at Seaton Delaval that Vanbrugh, a skillful playwright, achieved the peak of Restoration drama, once again highlighting a parallel between Baroque architecture and contemporary theatre. Despite his efforts, Baroque was never to the English taste and well before his death in 1724 the style had lost currency in Britain. In the early 18th century, the style was associated with Toryism, the Continent and Popery by the dominant Whig aristocracy. At Wentworth Woodhouse, Thomas Watson-Wentworth and his son Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham replaced a Jacobean house with a substantial Baroque one in the 1720s, only to find fellow Whigs unimpressed; as a result, a large Palladian building was added. Downes, Kerry. English Baroque Architecture. London, A. Zwemmer, 1966
Pale Fire is a 1962 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is presented as a 999-line poem titled "Pale Fire", written by the fictional poet John Shade, with a foreword, lengthy commentary and index written by Shade's neighbor and academic colleague, Charles Kinbote. Together these elements form a narrative. Pale Fire has spawned a wide variety of interpretations and a large body of written criticism, which Finnish literary scholar Pekka Tammi estimated in 1995 as more than 80 studies; the Nabokov authority Brian Boyd has called it "Nabokov's most perfect novel", the critic Harold Bloom called it "the surest demonstration of his own genius... that remarkable tour de force". It was ranked 53rd on the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels and 1st on the American literary critic Larry McCaffery's 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction. Starting with the epigraph and table of contents, Pale Fire looks like the publication of a 999-line poem in four cantos by the fictional John Shade with a foreword, extensive commentary, index by his self-appointed editor, Charles Kinbote.
Kinbote's commentary takes the form of notes to various numbered lines of the poem. Here and in the rest of his critical apparatus, Kinbote explicates the poem little. Focusing instead on his own concerns, he divulges what proves to be the plot piece by piece, some of which can be connected by following the many cross-references. Espen Aarseth noted that Pale Fire "can be read either unicursally, straight through, or multicursally, jumping between the comments and the poem." Thus, although the narration is non-linear and multidimensional, the reader can still choose to read the novel in a linear manner without risking misinterpretation. The novel's unusual structure has attracted much attention, it is cited as an important example of metafiction; the connection between Pale Fire and hypertext was stated soon after its publication. A 2009 paper compares Pale Fire to hypertext; the interaction between Kinbote and Shade takes place in the fictitious small college town of New Wye, where they live across a lane from each other, from February to July 1959.
Kinbote writes his commentary from to October 1959 in a tourist cabin in the fictitious western town of Cedarn, Utana. Both authors recount many earlier events, Shade in New Wye and Kinbote in New Wye and in Europe the "distant northern land" of Zembla. Shade's poem digressively describes many aspects of his life. Canto 1 includes his early encounters with death and glimpses of what he takes to be the supernatural. Canto 2 is about the apparent suicide of his daughter, Hazel Shade. Canto 3 focuses on Shade's search for knowledge about an afterlife, culminating in a "faint hope" in higher powers "playing a game of worlds" as indicated by apparent coincidences. Canto 4 offers details on Shade's daily life and creative process, as well as thoughts on his poetry, which he finds to be a means of somehow understanding the universe. In Kinbote's editorial contributions he tells. One is his own story, notably including. After Shade was murdered, Kinbote acquired the manuscript, including some variants, has taken it upon himself to oversee the poem's publication, telling readers that it lacks only line 1000.
Kinbote's second story deals with King Charles II, "The Beloved", the deposed king of Zembla. King Charles escaped imprisonment by Soviet-backed revolutionaries, making use of a secret passage and brave adherents in disguise. Kinbote claims that he inspired Shade to write the poem by recounting King Charles's escape to him and that possible allusions to the king, to Zembla, appear in Shade's poem in rejected drafts. However, no explicit reference to King Charles is to be found in the poem. Kinbote's third story is that of Gradus, an assassin dispatched by the new rulers of Zembla to kill the exiled King Charles. Gradus makes his way from Zembla through America to New Wye, suffering comic mishaps. In the last note, to the missing line 1000, Kinbote narrates. Towards the end of the narrative, Kinbote all but explicates that he is in fact the exiled King Charles, living incognito. In the latter interpretation, Kinbote is delusional and has built an elaborate picture of Zembla complete with samples of a constructed language as a by-product of insanity.
Nabokov said in an interview. The critic Michael Wood has stated, "This is authorial trespassing, we don't have to pay attention to it", but Brian Boyd has argued that internal evidence points to Kinbote's suicide. One of Kinbote's annotations to Shade's poem addresses the subject of suicide at some length; as Nabokov pointed out himself, the title of John Shade's poem is from Shakespeare's Timon of Athens: "The moon's an arrant thief, / And her pale fire she snatches from the sun", a line taken as a metaphor about creativity and inspiration. Kinbote quotes the passage but does not recognize it, as he says he has access only to an inaccurate Zemblan tra