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The cõforte of louers The Comfort of Lovers   By: (-1523)

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In "The Comfort of Lovers" by Stephen Hawes, readers are taken on a journey through both earthly and divine realms, exploring the complexities and trials of love. Set in the medieval era, this allegorical tale showcases the author's creativity and literary finesse.

The plot revolves around the central characters, Lady Courtesy and Courtly Abusance, who represent the realm of virtue and vice, respectively. Lady Courtesy embodies all that is righteous and pure, while Courtly Abusance embodies the temptations and immoralities that plague the world. The contrasting natures of these characters create a riveting narrative that delves deep into human nature and the challenges faced by those in search of true love.

Hawes skillfully weaves together elements of medieval philosophy, mythology, and romance, creating a rich tapestry of symbolism and allegory. The narrative unfolds through a series of adventures and encounters, as Lady Courtesy traverses the Seven Planets in her quest to rescue her imprisoned lover, Courtly Pleasure, from the clutches of Courtly Abusance. Each of these planetary realms represents different aspects of human experience and emotion, adding depth and meaning to the story.

The author's prose is lyrical and elegant, reminding readers of the poetic traditions of medieval literature. The dialogue between characters is infused with symbolism and metaphor, painting a vivid picture of the internal struggles faced by those torn between virtue and temptation. Hawes's command over language is evident throughout, enhancing the immersive reading experience and making the story come alive.

What sets "The Comfort of Lovers" apart is its exploration of the divine aspects of love. Through the character of Divine Love, Hawes delves into the transcendent and transformative power of love, highlighting its ability to elevate individuals and guide them towards spiritual enlightenment. The inclusion of religious themes adds depth and complexity to the narrative, and offers readers a deeper understanding of the universal nature of love.

Although the book can be challenging at times due to its dense allegorical nature, patient readers will be rewarded with a thought-provoking and deeply satisfying read. "The Comfort of Lovers" is a testament to Stephen Hawes's talent as a Renaissance poet and his ability to craft a captivating narrative with moral and philosophical undertones.

In conclusion, "The Comfort of Lovers" provides a fascinating exploration of love, virtue, and temptation. Hawes's poetic prose and intricate storytelling make this medieval romance a truly immersive reading experience. However, it is important to note that this book may not appeal to readers who prefer straightforward narratives, as its allegorical nature requires careful attention and interpretation. Overall, "The Comfort of Lovers" is a literary masterpiece that will leave a lasting impression on those who embark on its enchanting journey.

First Page:

[Transcriber’s Note:

This e text includes characters that will only display in UTF 8 (Unicode) text readers:

ãẽĩõũỹ = vowel with “tilde” or overline

If any of these characters do not display properly in particular, if the diacritic does not appear directly above the letter or if the quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage, make sure your text reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set to Unicode (UTF 8). You may also need to change the default font.

Spelling and punctuation are unchanged. A few abbreviations are shown with brackets:

[the] = “y” with small “e” directly above it; the more accurate form yͤ may not display correctly in all text readers. [with] = “w” with superscript “t” [that] = two forms, “y” and “þ” (thorn), each with superscript “t”. [us] = “us” abbreviation resembling superscript “9”.

Many parts of this text were damaged, especially at the beginnings or ends of lines. One line at the top of a page, shown as a row of asterisks, is entirely missing. Other words have been reconstructed from their surviving portions; the conjectural letters are shown in {braces}. The html version of this e text shows the reconstructions. Other errors are listed at the end of the text... Continue reading book >>

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