Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Scott Lightsey

Second Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

Edward Christie

Abstract

Jack Upland, Friar Daw’s Reply, and Upland’s Rejoinderparticipate in the development and transmission of poetic visions, depicting a world in decline in which friars play a central role. Jack Upland, a Wycliffite prose treatise written between 1390 and 1400, attacks friars as vanguards of Antichrist. Friar Daw’s Reply is a point-by-point fraternal response to Jack Upland written in alliterative verse, composed in either 1419 or 1420 and by a member of the London Blackfriars. Upland’s Rejoinder, a verse rebuttal written in the margins of Friar Daw’s Reply, dates to approximately 1450 and was composed by a Lollard sympathizer. Known as the “Upland series,” these poems respond to nearly two centuries of Latin antifraternal writing including the proto-reformation efforts of William of St. Amour, Richard FitzRalph, John Wyclif, while also following in the secular poetic tradition of Chaucer, Langland, and Gower, who wrote against friars and the decay of human society.

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