This introductory chapter sets out the book purpose of this book, which is to offer a framework for thinking about literary didacticism: it asks what a forceful “culture of teaching” might mean to a teaching poem, and aims to clarify what counted as teaching for the humanists, and as learning. It assays this project by way of a handful of works from a dissident and defiantly extracurricular genre, the romances written by John Lyly (Euphues), Philip Sidney (Arcadia), and Edmund Spenser (The Faerie Queene). The chapter then sets the stage by presenting two scenes of instruction: scenes that both represent teaching (among their characters) and aspire to do it (in teaching the reader).
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