The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
David, Alfred. "Chaucer's Good Counsel to Scogan." 3 (1969): 265-74.
The Envoy to Scogan is much more than a begging poem; like some of Edward Deschamp's poetry, Scogan is a light poem offering advice. The poem suggests that it is occasioned by a blasphemous oath regarding a lady, and Scogan becomes more intelligible if read as if written to a young poet to tell him that in this life, all is transitory. Humor rises from the similarities between Scogan and Chaucer, and the similarities drive home the point. In Scogan, Chaucer offers advice based on experience in love, but he also suggests that poetry itself is not eternal.
Lenaghan, R. T. "Chaucer's Envoy to Scogan: The Social Uses of Literary Conventions." 10 (1975): 46-61.
The logical connection between the two parts of the Envoy to Scogan is not clear, but it does suggest a particular historical time in which to examine Chaucer's talent. Given the date of Scogan's service in the royal household, the poem can be dated in the 1390's. Like other poems of this period, the Envoy to Scogan contains a personal statement of a love which produced obligation. Like Deschamps, Chaucer indicates a sense of friendship for his companions, and like Machaut, he is self-deprecatory. The Envoy to Scogan uses a common theme to evoke activity from Scogan, in part by reminding him that he and Chaucer are equals. The suggestion of friendship, however, prevents such an idea from disrupting the social order.
Lenaghan, R. T. "Chaucer's Circle of Gentlemen and Clerks." 18 (1983): 155-60.
Most court poets held other offices at court such as clerk or customs officer. These official duties were more important than writing poetry. Because of the political atmosphere in which a number of powerful noblemen were jockeying for rulership of the king's household, administrative skills were highly valued. Each group of officials also became a social structure. The poems Chaucer wrote to Scogan and Bukton reveal a sense of social equality. Even in writing to the king, Chaucer develops a sense of equality, as is seen in "Lak of Stedfastness" and the "Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse."
Polzella, Marion L. "'The craft so long to lerne': Poet and Lover in Chaucer's 'Envoy to Scogan' and Parliament of Fowls." 10 (1976): 279-86.
Chaucer carefully constructs an analogy between poet and lover. When the poet calls on Venus, he needs aid to write, not to love. The narrator's inexperience in love makes the parallels between love and poetry stronger, particularly in the Parliament of Fowls. Finally, the poet rejects neither love nor poetry, though he does express doubts regarding their longevity.
Ruud, Jay. "Chaucer's Envoy to Scogan: 'Tullius kyndenesse' and the Law of Kynde." 20 (1986): 323-30.
Understanding the references to Tullius in Chaucer's Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan allows critics to recognize the purpose and unity of the poem. The reference to Cicero alludes to De Amicitia, which makes two points about love applicable to Scogan. Chaucer uses these allusions to point out that Scogan has broken the law of kind in love by deciding to love a woman who cannot love him in return. Chaucer then elevates the divine love that holds the universe together. The tension between these two kinds of love unifies the poem.
Stephens, John. "The Uses of Personae and the Art of Obliqueness in Some Chaucer Lyrics: Part II." 21 (1987): 459-68.
The speaker of the Envoy to Scogan approaches himself and his hearer humorously; the speaker of "L'Envoy de Chaucer a Bukton" uses aphorisms and relies on readers to notice the speaker's role. The difference between the two speakers appears when readers compare the use of vocatives, rhyme and stress patterns, and postponement techniques. Both poems examine the speaker's thoughts. Each poem develops a different theme. The personas also develop differently, resulting in different relationships to readers.