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Vivat vår monark!: Carl Michael Bellmans panegyrik över Gustaf III 1771-1792
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Vivat Rex! : Carl Michael Bellman’s Panegyric on King Gustavus III 1771-1792 (English)
Abstract [en]

Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795), who is chiefly associated with wine, song, a wayward poetic style, and little care for politics, wrote laudatory poetry to King Gustavus III (1746–1792) during the period 1771–1792. His royalist poems have been mostly viewed as uncharacteristically pompous and rigid, and neglected in favor of the vivacious song-cycles Fredman’s Epistles  and Fredman’s Songs. The focus of this research is to reassess Bellman’s panegyric works, centering on panegyric motifs and rhetorical form, and the poet’s use of encomium (eulogy) in relation to its function in Gustavian literature and society.

The first two chapters examine Bellman’s self-image as a poet, and trace the philosophical grounds for literary praise. The following three chapters discuss Bellman’s use of leading panegyric themes and motifs, and his use of rhetorical devices in the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition. A comparison is made between Bellman’s literary style in his panegyric occasional poems and in his Epistles and Songs, set against the traditional commemorative genres of eulogy and verse epic. His renowned mixed style is also explored. Bellman’s poetic techniques are further studied through a comparison with commemorative medals, shedding light on his use of imagery and attributes, and on the iconographic traditions that influenced his poetry. Additionally, his role as panegyrist in the politically turbulent Gustavian Era is examined.

This study posits that Bellman carefully employs the rules of Greco-Roman and French Classicist traditions, yet maintains literary autonomy by blending high-style rhetorical devices with low-style poetic imagery. This technique is similar to that of his other major works, especially the Epistles. Ultimately, Bellman emerges as a poetically and politically astute poet with clear literary ideals and ambitions, partaking in politics by helping to shape the official image of Gustavus III.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Ellerströms förlag , 2011. , 388 p.
Keyword [en]
Carl Michael Bellman, Gustavus III, panegyric, epideictic, encomium, occasional poetry, 18th century Swedish literature, Gustavian literature, French Classicism, rhetoric, emblematics, commemorative medals, Fredman’s Epistles, Fredman’s Songs
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64000ISBN: 978-91-7247-191-7OAI: diva2:454173
Public defence
2012-01-21, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-12-28 Created: 2011-11-06 Last updated: 2011-11-16Bibliographically approved

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