The hagiography had the different purpose at the different stages of public life. Having began with simple chronicles, it became a genre which was a treasury of vivid examples of faith. And later on it even functioned as an important historical source. The topic of the article is the role of the hagiography in the modern world: What kind of meaning is given by the modern cultural, spiritual and literary life to this oldest genre; is it a simple artifact of human history or is it still a way to the true faith; how are medieval hagiographic texts and the tendencies of their translations renewed to have an active role in modern life.
This paper uses the intertextual relationship between Chaucer’s Truth and Wyatt’s First Satire as a means to elucidate the Renaissance re-appropriation of a Medieval rhetoric of reform. I argue that Wyatt positions his own poetry as the space in which Chaucer’s plan of social and political reform has been successfully implemented; in adopting this position, Wyatt uses his individual reading of Chaucer as a model to spur more widespread reform at the corrupt Henrician court. This argument yields two salient corollaries for our scholarly study of periodization and reform. First, it suggests that a project of reform initiated in Chaucer’s England may have a delayed effect, ultimately functioning at the level of praxis in a later period. Second, it suggests that what are normally called Wyatt’s quintessentially Renaissance techniques of social reform are firmly rooted in Chaucer’s existing Medieval vision.