epithalamium

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epithalamium

(ĕp'ĭthəlā`mēəm), song or poem written to celebrate a marriage. An elaborate form of pastoralpastoral,
literary work in which the shepherd's life is presented in a conventionalized manner. In this convention the purity and simplicity of shepherd life is contrasted with the corruption and artificiality of the court or the city.
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, the epithalamium usually tells of the happenings of the wedding day. Nymphs, shepherds, and appropriate mythological figures are present to share the poet's joy. Epithalamiums were written in ancient times by Pindar, Sappho, and Catullus. The biblical Song of Solomon is a classic of the genre as is Edmund Spenser's "Epithalamium" (1595), written to celebrate his own marriage.

epithalamium

poem in honor of bride and groom. [Western Lit.: LLEI, 1: 283]
References in periodicals archive ?
And, given the above, would we be overly surprised if those parted lips--armatured by many a rousing blast of a phallic trumpet--had inspired Hopkins with the same "flashing" passion we have already seen enveloping his epithalamic stranger, a passion clearly elucidated by Whitman in "The Mystic Trumpeter": I hear thee thumpeter, listening alert I catch thy notes, Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me, ............................................
11), with all of its erotic connotations, could just as easily have been acquired at a Penmaen or epithalamic pool, where even listless strangers can partake in a watery communion with the "Thou mastering me / God," a God who is not only the "giver of breath and bread," but also t he giver of the "World's strand [and] sway of the sea" ("Deutschland," II.
Although hesitant, although fearful of the Whitmanesque "souse upon me of my lover the sea"--the liquid embodiment of an "eminently sexual, rapacious, and wholly virile God"--Hopkins' stranger nevertheless accepts the sensual treats offered by the epithalamic waterworld, and immediately "feasts: [for] lovely all is!" Compelled (or more aptly, guided) by an unseen poetical hand, Hopkins' stranger is moved into a gushing cleft in the landscape's side.
9) of the moorland water-rushing "boisterously beautiful, between I Roots and rocks" for the delight of boys-into something calmer, something which "warbles" into the epithalamic coffer with the rhythmic trills and thrills and quavers expectant of a satisfied bird.
The sensual pleasures of the epithalamic pool are far more ambiguous than the syntactical options of the word "froliclavish." Given the frolicsome and celebratory quality of the poem as a whole, it may seem remarkable that Hopkins' most sensual expression should end in a "coffer"-a medieval cognate of "coffin"-amidst a continual overflow of water, a coffer occupied by a stranger who beckons us seductively like one of Alfred Waterhouse's painted nymphs.
Like an unnoticed memento mori, the leaves above the epithalamic pool "Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth," the first recognizable as Hopkins' elegant-yet-deadly "Windhover" suspended above its prey; the second, a more common harbinger of death--both motionless, both waiting.
(16) It is possible, therefore, to consider Fielding's integration of the epithalamic motifs at the end of Joseph Andrews to be another innovative form in a tradition of synthesis and harmony.
The marriage episode at the conclusion of the novel, which I have characterized epithalamic, follows the diurnal pattern of the classical models.
But a secondary effect of this passage realizes the characteristics of the epithalamic, which describes behaviour realistically without diminishing the virtue of the characters.
Fielding's epithalamic passages are characterized by the total absence of epic machinery, in contrast to the classical epithalamia.
With the imagery of the gods employed to the disadvantage of the main characters in unsettling situations, Fielding, by negative example, announces his rationale for the simple diction of the epithalamic passages at the conclusion of Joseph Andrews.
Fanny, here depicted as natural and pure, imitates the epithalamic bride, a point emphasized in a convoluted way by her undistinguished parents and her betrothal to a former footman who gains a measure of status as the son of a merchant.