Epic Visualizations

In order to make our Renaissance authors more engaging and accessible in the digital world, this section presents the results of two multimedia projects undertaken by the Spenser and Milton Seminar.

First, our nine participants individually explored instances of epic simile within The Faerie Queen. The resulting essays have been adapted into narrated slideshows to illustrate their observations and conclusions.  The videos provide a brief and convenient introduction to Spenser’s poetic arsenal, encompassing a variety important images, including animals, sunshine, artillery, and the sea.

Second, the commonplace entries compiled by the participants have been visualized using graphing software. The images presented demonstrate the complex patterns of repetition and allusion within both epics. Seeing the distribution of these entries across the various books and cantos can help us to recognize trends in the two authors’ thematic shifts.