Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Creative Writing Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 26 of 26

Full-Text Articles in Creative Writing

Phantastes Chapter 5: Romance Of Sir Launfal, Thomas Chestre Jan 1960

Phantastes Chapter 5: Romance Of Sir Launfal, Thomas Chestre

German Romantic and Other Influences

A medieval poem of 1045 lines telling of a knight who loses status and wealth and who meets a beautiful woman who gives him love and wealth as long as he keeps her existence a secret. The motif of the lover’s prohibition appears in several medieval texts, and MacDonald makes use of this motif in this chapter.


Phantastes Chapter 5: Pygmalion, Thomas Lovell Beddoes Jan 1912

Phantastes Chapter 5: Pygmalion, Thomas Lovell Beddoes

German Romantic and Other Influences

Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849) was a Romantic poet intensely focused on death. His poem “Pygmalion” (1825) recounts the myth of the Cypriot sculptor who fell in love with the statue he carved. In this chapter, MacDonald echoes this myth.


Phantastes Chapter 4: Ballad Of Sir Aldingar, James Kinsley Jan 1910

Phantastes Chapter 4: Ballad Of Sir Aldingar, James Kinsley

German Romantic and Other Influences

A child ballad of various origins. Aldingar attempts to seduce the Queen, who spurns him and sets off Aldingar to falsely accuse the Queen of sleeping with a leper. The king believes Aldingar, and the Queen asks that a knight fight for her honor. Unable to find a knight, she relies on a four-year-old boy, who defeats Aldingar. On his deathbed he admits his accusation was false. The history of this ballad can be found in Paul Christopherson’s The Ballad of Sir Aldingar, its Origins and Analogues, Oxford UP, 1952


Phantastes Chapter 12: A Threefold Cord, Unknown Dec 1882

Phantastes Chapter 12: A Threefold Cord, Unknown

German Romantic and Other Influences

This poem appears in MacDonald’s A Threefold Cord (1883), where MacDonald is credited as contributor and editor. In this volume, individual authors are not credited. While some have thought that this passage is by MacDonald himself, Nick Page persuasively argues that the poem should be attributed to MacDonald’s friend Greville Ewing Matheson. See Page, Phantastes: Special Annotated Edition (Paternoster, 2008)


Phantastes Chapter 17/18: Exotics, Heinrich Heine Dec 1875

Phantastes Chapter 17/18: Exotics, Heinrich Heine

German Romantic and Other Influences

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) was a German poet whose poetry has a strong political focus. MacDonald includes several translations from Heine in Exotics (pp. 154-165), his book of translations from German and Italian poets (1876). The poems he includes resonate nicely with Phantastes.


Phantastes Chapter 1: Alastor; Or, The Spirit Of Solitude, Percy Bysshe Shelley Dec 1815

Phantastes Chapter 1: Alastor; Or, The Spirit Of Solitude, Percy Bysshe Shelley

German Romantic and Other Influences

A quest poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) published in 1816. The full title is “Alastor: or, the Spirit of Solitude.” MacDonald quotes lines 484-488 in which the Poet encounters his soulmate. Shelley’s poem is a major influence on Phantastes, and Shelley’s Preface to “Alastor” offers a nice gloss on MacDonald’s fantasy. “The poem entitled ‘Alastor’ may be considered as allegorical of one of the most interesting situations of the human mind. It represents a youth of uncorrupted feelings and adventurous genius led forth by an imagination inflamed and purified through familiarity with all that is excellent ...


Phantastes Chapter 11: The Excursion, William Wordsworth Dec 1813

Phantastes Chapter 11: The Excursion, William Wordsworth

German Romantic and Other Influences

Lines 836-842 from Book II of William Wordsworth's The Excursion (1814).


Phantastes Chapter 6: Der Zauberring (The Magical Ring), Friedrich Heinrich Karl Jan 1813

Phantastes Chapter 6: Der Zauberring (The Magical Ring), Friedrich Heinrich Karl

German Romantic and Other Influences

Fouqué, Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte (1777-1843), is an important German writer who helped define German Romanticism. Fouqué’s Undine (1811) was the fairy tale that MacDonald cites in “The Fantastic Imagination” as the ideal fairy tale. Der Zauberring (The Magical Ring, 1813) follows Otto and his cousin Bertha as they go on a series of adventures to find the magic ring. This work, critics argue, influenced not only MacDonald but William Morris, Richard Wagner, and J. R. R. Tolkien.


Phantastes Chapter 8: Faust, Goethe Dec 1805

Phantastes Chapter 8: Faust, Goethe

German Romantic and Other Influences

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), was a German writer associated with the Sturm and Drang (Storm and Stress) literary movement. Faust 1 (1806) has Mephistopheles, a minion for the devil, seduce Faust into selling his soul to the devil. Faust, in turn, seduces a young woman, ultimately destroying her. In Faust 2 (1831), Faust goes on a series of adventures, meets some fairies, and finally atones for some of his sins and is able to enter Heaven.


Phantastes Chapter 9: Dejection: An Ode, Samuel Taylor Coleridge Jan 1802

Phantastes Chapter 9: Dejection: An Ode, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

German Romantic and Other Influences

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Dejection: An Ode" (lines 47-49 and 53-58). Coleridge published the poem in 1802.


Phantastes Chapter 22: Titan: A Romance, Jean Paul Dec 1799

Phantastes Chapter 22: Titan: A Romance, Jean Paul

German Romantic and Other Influences

Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, 1763-1825) was a German writer. Titan (1800-1803) is a four-volume novel in the Bildungsroman (novel of education) tradition. Schoppe is the friend of Albano (the main character), who searches for balance in his life. Schoppe, however, is a cynic and pessimist and dies after he thinks he see his doppelgänger, but who is, in fact, his look-alike friend. Schoppe’s tragic ending reinforces the death of the brothers in Phantastes.


Phantastes Chapter 16: Life And The Ideal, Friedrich Von Schiller Dec 1794

Phantastes Chapter 16: Life And The Ideal, Friedrich Von Schiller

German Romantic and Other Influences

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) was a German writer, primarily known as a dramatist, poet, and literary critic. Das Ideal und das Leben (Life and the Ideal, 1795) is a philosophical poem. The Oxford Reference reports that the poem was “first published in 1795 in No. 9 of Die Horen, with the title ‘Das Reich der Schatten’. Schiller changed this in 1800 to ‘Das Reich der Formen’, and adopted the present title in 1804.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), writer and politician, translated the poem in 1844 as Ideal and Actual Life. Bulwer-Lytton began his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the ...


Phantastes Chapter 18: Hesperus, Jean Paul Dec 1794

Phantastes Chapter 18: Hesperus, Jean Paul

German Romantic and Other Influences

Jean Paul—Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825)—was a German writer in the Romantic tradition, also known for his humorous writing. Hesperus (1795) includes two major ideas that MacDonald explores throughout Phantastes: the notion of dreams, and the importance of mirrors.


Phantastes Chapter 7: Ballad Of Sir Andrew Barton, Unknown Dec 1764

Phantastes Chapter 7: Ballad Of Sir Andrew Barton, Unknown

German Romantic and Other Influences

“Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton” dates from the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1. It appears in the eighteenth-century collection of ballads and popular songs edited by Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). Sir Andrew Barton was a Scottish sea captain who engaged in a sea battle with two English ships. He was killed in the altercation, but became famous for his bravery.


Phantastes Chapter 13: I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart, John Suckling Dec 1647

Phantastes Chapter 13: I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart, John Suckling

German Romantic and Other Influences

Lines 13-18 from “I prithee send me back my heart” by the poet Sir John Suckling. Suckling (1609-1641) is associated with the Cavalier Poets, poets who supported King Charles I. Suckling is the inventor of the card game cribbage.


Phantastes Chapter 19: The Innocent Iii, Abraham Cowley Dec 1646

Phantastes Chapter 19: The Innocent Iii, Abraham Cowley

German Romantic and Other Influences

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) was an English poet whose work echoes the metaphysical wit of John Donne. The lines quoted are lines 5-8 of “The Innocent III” (1647).


Phantastes Chapter 14: Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare Dec 1622

Phantastes Chapter 14: Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare

German Romantic and Other Influences

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Winter’s Tale, published in 1623 in the First Folio.


Phantastes Chapter 21: The Book Of Judges, Unknown Jan 1611

Phantastes Chapter 21: The Book Of Judges, Unknown

German Romantic and Other Influences

The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew and the Christian Bible (Old Testament). The line quoted is from Chapter 12:3. Judges tells the stories of the heroes (judges) who restore the Israelites after they have fallen. The pattern of fall and rise is the pattern of Anodos’s experiences in Phantastes.


Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faithful Shepherdess, John Fletcher Dec 1608

Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faithful Shepherdess, John Fletcher

German Romantic and Other Influences

John Fletcher (1579-1625) was a contemporary of William Shakespeare and followed him as main playwright for the King’s Men. The Faithful Shepherdess (produced in 1608, probably published in 1609) is also important for Fletcher’s definition of tragicomedy, which highlights the importance of near-death to the genre.


Phantastes Chapter 22: The Revenger's Tragedy, Cyril Tourneur Dec 1606

Phantastes Chapter 22: The Revenger's Tragedy, Cyril Tourneur

German Romantic and Other Influences

Cyril Tourneur (1575-1626) was an English dramatist, a contemporary of Shakespeare; Tourneur was also a soldier and politician. The Revenger’s Tragedy (1607), as its name implies, is a revenge tragedy, and comments on the battle to avenge the destruction by the giants that lead to the brothers’ deaths. Literary critics now believe that the play was written by Thomas Middleton (1580-1627).


Phantastes Chapter 24: The Honest Whore, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton Dec 1604

Phantastes Chapter 24: The Honest Whore, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton

German Romantic and Other Influences

Thomas Dekker (1572-1632) was a dramatist and writer of popular pamphlets describing London life. This line comes from the play The Honest Whore, Part II (1605 or 1606). The Honest Whore, Part I, a collaboration between Dekker and Thomas Middleton, was performed in 1604.


Phantastes Chapter 13: The Water Is Wide, Unknown Jan 1600

Phantastes Chapter 13: The Water Is Wide, Unknown

German Romantic and Other Influences

Lines are from an old Scottish ballad, “The Water is Wide,” dating from the seventeenth century. We note, for interest’s sake, that Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sing a version of this song in the 1975 film Renaldo and Clara.


Phantastes Chapter 23: Astrophel: An Elegy, Or Friend’S Passion, For His Astrophill, Matthew Roydon Dec 1592

Phantastes Chapter 23: Astrophel: An Elegy, Or Friend’S Passion, For His Astrophill, Matthew Roydon

German Romantic and Other Influences

Matthew Roydon (1580-1622), Elizabethan poet and friend of Sidney’s. In 1593, Roydon published his elegy for Sidney: “Astrophel: An Elegy, or Friend’s Passion, for His Astrophill.” MacDonald quotes lines 103-106. “The lineaments of Gospell bookes,” suggests that Sidney’s face exhibited a spirituality of a kind found in the four gospels of the New Testament


Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser Dec 1589

Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser

German Romantic and Other Influences

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), most famous for The Faerie Queene (1590; 1596), is a key influence on MacDonald generally and on Phantastes in particular. John Docherty writes that “MacDonald bases his upon the figure Phantastes living the forebrain of the ‘House of Alma' (the human body) in book 2 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene” (“Sources of Phantastes,” North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies, vol. 25, 2005, pages 16-28).


Phantastes Chapter 23: The Countess Of Pembroke’S Arcadia, Philip Sidney Dec 1589

Phantastes Chapter 23: The Countess Of Pembroke’S Arcadia, Philip Sidney

German Romantic and Other Influences

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1583) was an Elizabethan courtier, soldier, and poet. The quotation derives from The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (1590), and sets out Sidney’s definition of a gentleman. Late in his writing career, MacDonald published a collection of excerpts from Sidney: A Cabinet of Gems, Cut and Polished by Sir Philip Sidney (1892). MacDonald lectured on Sidney as early as 1854.


Phantastes Chapter 15: Campaspe, John Lyly Dec 1583

Phantastes Chapter 15: Campaspe, John Lyly

German Romantic and Other Influences

Campaspe, an Elizabethan play by John Lyly (1584). The lines quoted are from Act 3, Scene 4, and they indicate the notion of a Platonic beauty, an ideal beauty that the artist can never capture perfectly