Feb 16 – Henryson

In the prologue, Henryson makes comments about the work he has created, referring back to Aesop’s fables many times, as well as informing the reader that Henryson’s goal is to make his fables pleasing to read and full of some lightness.

In the fables we read, what were some moments and passages that you found especially pleasing or light or even humorous? Why did they strike you?

2 thoughts on “Feb 16 – Henryson

  1. The conversation between the mouse and the lion while the mouse if in the paw of the lion is comical. The mouse jokes about the lion’s manliness and how it his reputation vanish if the lion devoured a thousand mice (95). Also the mouse makes jabs at himself saying if the lion eats him he will be exposed to the diseases that mice carry (95). The mouse indirectly and directly makes jokes concerning about herself. Characters of the lower social class in comedies make jokes about themselves more frequently than making jokes about lords and the social elites.

  2. I found the passage on page 95 in “The Lion and the Mouse” in which the mouse entreats the lion not to kill her is interesting to me. She says, “To kill and devour a thousand mice– What’s many about that in a great lion? . . . My life’s of little value, my death less\ Yet if I live, who knows, it could happen\ I’d help your highness in a chance distress,” (95 stanzas 1 and 3). I think this is a popular passage because this fable is 1) so familiar to us and 2) it is intriguing to watch the mouse defend herself, especially seeing as there is some sort of moral law through which the mouse knows and accepts she is in the wrong. Another way you could see it: a mouse shouldn’t have to feel the need to reward a lion for opting not to eat her. What give the lion the right to be the king? Of course, this is in a monarchical, medieval world, so it works in this context.

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