Authority, Rebellion and Subordination in Chaucer’s The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and the Wakefield Second Shepherd’s Play

The plight of the oppressed in medieval England was paramount to the emergence of iconic works of fiction. In turn, the future comprehension of feudal society is dependent upon these works. To rely on monastic chroniclers alone, in understanding the state of their world, would be to absorb works that were largely created under the … Read moreAuthority, Rebellion and Subordination in Chaucer’s The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and the Wakefield Second Shepherd’s Play

Chaucer’s Imagery in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue

Throughout ‘The Wife of Bath’s Prologue’, Chaucer uses imagery to enhance our understanding of the Wife’s character and principles. Chaucer makes use of simple yet powerful metaphors such as fire and nature to augment our understanding of the Wife’s personality. However, some of the more fundamental images throughout the poem – animals and trade, for … Read moreChaucer’s Imagery in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue

Wife of Bath as an Exegete

Chaucer, at least on the surface, recreates the commonly perceived stereotype of a vile woman in Alisoun; and as D.W. Robertson in Chaucer’s Exegetes states, “She is but an elaborate iconographic figure designed to show the manifold implications of an attitude.” Alisoun is portrayed as somewhat of an iconoclast, transgressive to the core, and raucous … Read moreWife of Bath as an Exegete

“The Book of the Duchess”: The Dreamer’s Story

Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem “The Book of the Duchess” was written between the years 1369-1372. The poem is a product of Chaucer’s French period. This work was written for Chaucer’s principal patron, John of Gaunt, after the death of his first wife, Blanche. Initially the poem was known as “The Deth of Blaunche the Duchess” and … Read more“The Book of the Duchess”: The Dreamer’s Story

Chaucer’s Dream Poetry in Context

In Chaucer’s three dream poems, “The Book of the Duchess“, “The Parliament of Fowles” and the unfinished “House of Fame”, universal issues such as love are explored by a narrator recounting a dream. Writing that incorporated dreams was popular in Medieval England as it allowed poets to discuss issues without taking a firm moral stance. … Read moreChaucer’s Dream Poetry in Context

Color Symbolism in The Miller’s Tale of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

“The Miller’s Tale”, a ribald and bawdy fabliaux about the generation gap, youthful lust, aged foolishness, and the selfishness and cruelty of people towards each other, contains a wealth of color terms which add to and expand the meaning of this rustic tale. The teller, too, the Miller, is described in detail in Chaucer’s “Prologue” … Read moreColor Symbolism in The Miller’s Tale of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Forbidden Love: A Comparison of “The Merchants Prologue and Tale” and “The Duchess of Malfi”

Despite the varying contexts with which they wrote their work, as well as the vastly different tone and content, both Chaucer in ‘The Merchants Tale’ and Webster through ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ explore the theme of forbidden love- or forbidden lust- and its attractions and implications. Whilst Chaucer’s humorous fabliau of adultery and grotesque miss-matches … Read moreForbidden Love: A Comparison of “The Merchants Prologue and Tale” and “The Duchess of Malfi”

Chaucer’s ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale’ as a Revival of Marie de France’s ‘Lanval’

If one was asked to name the epitome of medieval English literature, it is very likely that the answer would be Geoffrey Chaucer. Indeed, this world-wide known poet has played a major role in the development of the English language thanks to his masterpiece The Canterbury Tales, among many others. However, a genius seldom comes … Read moreChaucer’s ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale’ as a Revival of Marie de France’s ‘Lanval’

Marriage: The presentation of Januarie, Placebo and Justinus

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late 14th Century, featuring several tales loosely linked together that revolve around typical medieval lifestyles with its many modern day parallels. Marriage was a popular theme for debate during this time, with particular concerns to reasons for and consequences of marriage. Chaucer presents a variation of views, … Read moreMarriage: The presentation of Januarie, Placebo and Justinus

An exploration of the nature of decision-making in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

In Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer presents decision-making in a variety of ways, including through the relationship between fate, knowledge and freedom of action, ideas that are at the centre of medieval philosophy. Troilus claims to not believe in total free will, but rather a passive free will of succumbing to his own death wish, whilst … Read moreAn exploration of the nature of decision-making in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde