The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Hennedy, Hugh L. "The Friar's Summoner's Dilemma." 5 (1971): 213-17.
The summoner in the Friar's Tale is caught between two curses. In the beginning, he curses himself. At the end, the old woman curses him. Though her curse is conditional, the Summoner's curse of himself has left him with no escape. Because his curse was made in earnest, the Summoner cannot escape his damnation.
Shapiro, Gloria K. "Dame Alice as Deceptive Narrator." 6 (1971): 130-41.
By examining what the Wife of Bath does not say about her fourth husband, readers can uncover painful experiences and a religiousity she wishes to hide. When describing her fourth marriage, Alice skips quickly over comments that would reveal any jealousy or suffering on her part. Her use of biblical authority suggests that she needs a sense of religious support in order to lead a satisfactory life. Without realizing it, she discloses her belief that virginity is superior to marriage. Though she states that she will discuss the woe of marriage, she never does. The curse at the end of her tale is her way of disguising her true feelings about marriage. In the end, the Wife is more deeply religious than the Prioress. Though Alice adopts the pose of rebellion, the religious ideas she seeks to destroy are too much a part of her.