The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Nolan, Charles J., Jr. "Structural Sophistication in 'The Complaint unto Pity.'" 13 (1979): 363-72.
Though Chaucer clearly employs the complaint form in "Complaint unto Pity," he also uses the language of legal bills as examination of several suits shows. Pity becomes the powerful figure to whom the formal statement of grievance is addressed. Although the "Complaint" does not exactly follow the legal model, recognition of the legal basis for the work gives it greater sophistication.
Stephens, John. "The Uses of Personae and the Art of Obliqueness in Some Chaucer Lyrics: Part I." 21 (1987): 360-73.
Even in poems where Chaucer does not write in a persona named "Geoffrey" or in a personified narrator, he distances himself from the speaker. Chaucer indicates this separation in several ways. In "Complaint unto Pity" he creates an ambiguous situation for which he makes a conventional narrator. Such conformity suggests the fictional basis of the narrator. In "Fortune" the speakers are delineated by the debate genre of the poem. Verb tense can also suggest a speaker separate from the poet.