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The introduction gives an overview of the Rose’s engagement with thirteenth-century thought. It considers how the text’s game with the literal and allegorical senses of its words frustrate attempts to take unambiguous meaning from its poetry. It considers how the poem’s deliberate ambiguity responds to the context of its composition, both to the context of the University of Paris, racked by philosophical controversies in second half of the thirteen century, and to contemporary trends in satirical, philosophical poetry, strongly influenced by Roman poet Ovid, exemplified by the De amore of Andreas Capellanus. After a consideration of the Rose’s influence on later medieval poetry, the introduction gives an overview of the different chapters in the collection.
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