The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

24 Oct 2008


I've followed this link from the post "Why I Can't Be a Nun" in Vanity Fea and entered a webpage displaying the titles of a large number of medieval texts. Looking for something 'familiar' (i.e., something that could ring a bell with me, after last year's HISTORIA DE LA LENGUA INGLESA course) I've come across a commentary and the text of 'Sir Orpheo'.

The excerpt we worked on started with these lines:

"Allas!" quath he, "forlorn icham!
Whider wiltow go, and to wham?
Whider thou gost, ichil with the,
And whider y go, thou schalt with me."

It presented the scene when Sir Orfeo finds his wife by the orchard, apparently ready to leave their home without being noticed. He asks her for a reason and she tells his husband how she had been visited by fairy knights who would be back and abduct her irremediably.

The introduction to the poem in the abovementioned site provides a short summary and explains some features of this variation of the Orpheus myth, a myth that “has been read within Christian contexts, Celtic-folktale contexts, as well as within historical, philosophical, psychological, intertextual, and poetic contexts”. It also analyses the symbolism of Orpheus and tells about its interpretations.

Gluck created another variation of this myth in the form of his opera, Orpheus and Eurydice.

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