the Pléiade

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pléiade, the


a French Renaissance school of poetry formed in 1549 and named in honor of a group of seven Alexandrian poets of the third century B.C. It included P. de Ronsard, J. du Bellay, J.-A. de Baïf, É. Jodelle, R. Belleau, J. Dorat, and P. de Tyard.

The poets of the Pléiade cultivated the genres of the ode, sonnet, elegy, eclogue, comedy, and tragedy and appealed for a national epic tradition. They insisted that poetry had a social purpose and strove to enrich the French language. The Pléiade developed civic motifs, the theme of nature, and the genre of the love lyric. Their later works reveal a gradual infiltration of classical and baroque characteristics.


La Pléiade française, vols. 1–19. Published by C. Marty-Laveaux (Appendix, vols. 1–2). Paris, 1886–98.
In Russian translation:
Poety frantsuzskogo Vozrozhdeniia. Leningrad, 1938.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 269–303.
Clements, R.-J. Critical Theory and Practice of the Pléiade. Cambridge, 1942.
Chamard, H. Histoire de la Pléiade, new ed., vols. 1–5. Paris, 1961–63.
Castor, G. Pléiade poetics. Cambridge, 1964.
Lumières de la Pléiade. Paris, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.