The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Bachman, W. Bryant, Jr. "'To maken illusioun': The Philosophy of Magic and the Magic of Philosophy in the Franklin's Tale." 12 (1977): 55-67.
The two questions underlying Dorigen's complaint about the black rocks show Boethius's influence on Chaucer. In the Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius asserts that evil does not exist. Since experience contradicts this premise, however, Boethius must find an explanation for evil. Boethius then offers patience as a solution; patience is also a solution to Dorigen's problem of the black rocks. Dorigen's complaint can evoke two responses: readers either sympathize with her fears, or they condemn her for her lack of patience. Both the Consolation and the Franklin's Tale posit the role of human perception in terms of the problem of evil. Dorigen also attributes her problem to Boethian Fortune. Arveragus presents the only possible response to this kind of universe--a choice to keep his word, the only thing humans can control.
Beidler, Peter G. "The Pairing of the Franklin's Tale and the Physician's Tale." 3 (1969): 275-79.
The Physician's Tale and the Franklin's Tale are essentially alike. Virginia's strengths highlight Dorigen's impatience, her careless creation of her situation, and her wavering between death and dishonor.
Berger, Harry, Jr. "The F-Fragment of the Canterbury Tales: Part II." 1 (1967): 135-56.
The Franklin's Tale is highly symbolic. Unlike the Squire, the Franklin has the ability to control his tale: rhetorical devices do not get in the way. The tale presents the dangers of recreation, while at the same time, it is a recreation. The Franklin aligns himself with the forces of common sense as opposed to those of courtly love. He spends a good deal of time on magic, and in the process "magic, courtly love, [and] fiction are given qualified approval as amusements for the social hour" (148). The Franklin's digressions demonstrate his view of life--that the future is not a decline from youth, but full of promise--and they follow the Franklin's pattern of "withdrawal and return, play and work" (151). The conclusion of the tale attempts to examine the application of old knightly ideals to a new world filled with commerce and clerkly activities.
Bowman, Mary R. "'Half as she were mad': Dorigen in the Male World of the Franklin's Tale." 27 (1993): 239-51.
As a male poet, Chaucer experiences the difficulty of presenting women's voices, as the controversy over the Wife of Bath indicates. His female heroines must use masculine discourse to express themselves. Though Dorigen seems to achieve equal mastery in marriage, the Franklin reduces her to an object at the end of his tale. The Franklin espouses gentillesse, franchise, and freedom, but he assumes that men and women have the same relation to these virtues. The response of the different male and female characters in the tale indicates that this assumption is faulty at best. The final actions of the male characters appear much different from Dorigen's point of view. Dorigen expresses her grief, but in a different manner from the men in the tale, highlighting the difficulty of women faced with male discourse.
Brown, Carole Keopke. "'It is true art to conceal art': The Episodic Structure of Chaucer's Franklin's Tale." 27 (1992): 162-85.
The Franklin's Tale is a series of episodes carefully connected so as to be a seamless whole. Chaucer arranges the narrative in a repeating series of three, but each episode alters the material of the previous one so that no one is like any other. The structure contributes to the meaning of the tale in that the "trouthes" and the complaints decline, but the compassion shown to the victim increases.
Charnes, Linda. "'This werk unresonable': Narrative Frustration and Generic Redistribution in Chaucer's Franklin's Tale." 23 (1989): 300-15.
In the Franklin's Tale Chaucer twists narrative development, alters the speed of the story, and shifts from genre to genre in order to weaken "the viability of heroic and courtly romance themes" (300). Chaucer creates lacunae in both space and time, allowing violence to occur. The Franklin's treatment of Dorigen taxes her patience beyond all measure while valorizing patience. Dorigen's focus on the rocks is a manifestation of her desire to make Arveragus suffer the way she suffers. She then substitutes Aurelius for the rocks which have been filling Arveragus's place. Aurelius introduces a new genre and a new space in which Dorigen plays, though her play leads to his despair. Dorigen's revenge is to replace Aurelius's "quest" for her with Arveragus's quest for knightly fame. Finally, however, all characters participate in a quest that eventually results in truth. The Franklin's Tale forces readers to recognize the "distance between literary convention and psychological veracity" (314).
Collette, Carolyn. "Seeing and Believing in the Franklin's Tale." 26 (1992): 395-410.
Readers can examine the Franklin's Tale in terms of medieval theories of sight, vision, and will. Chaucer's focus on sight and the illusions of appearance is an original addtion to the source material in the Filostrato, and Historia regnum Britanniae. Dorigen's complaint revolves around her perception of the rocks. Her agreement with Aurelius uses the different perceptions among people and also engages the appearance and reality debate, as does the episode with the Clerk of Orleans. For those living in the Middle Ages, "sight was the chief of the physical senses" (401). By Chaucer's time, people valued mystical insight in a neo-Platonic way. The neo-Platonic tradition conflicted with Aristotelian views in which sight corresponded to reality, and created new opinions regarding how sight and experience became knowledge. In the fourteenth century people became fascinated by optical science and how the ability to see physically interacts with mental acuity of perception. The ability to see was also related to the will and a person's ability to perceive truth, as Augustine shows in De trinitate. Dorigen's obsession with the sight of the rocks creates a situation in which the marriage vow is questioned, thereby engaging this debate. Chaucer also examines sight and perception in the Second Nun's Tale and the Canon's Yeoman's Tale.
Crane, Susan. "The Franklin as Dorigen." 24 (1990): 236-52.
The Franklin's insecurity about his rank draws the attention of readers to concerns about class. As a woman, Dorigen holds a marginal position similar to the Franklin's social position. Chaucer thus associates class and gender in order to examine "the ways in which romance imagines the possibilities and the constraints of self-defintion" (237). The Franklin and Dorigen also have similar relationships to clerical writings: both refuse the authority of clerkly writings. Dorigen resists suicide in the same way the Franklin resists romance conventions.
Ebin, Lois. "Chaucer, Lydgate, and the 'Myrie tale.'" 13 (1979): 316-35.
Chaucer and the Host generate different definitions of the qualities of a good tale, and their definitions differ from Lydgate's perception. The Host operates under the definition that good stories compel the audience's attention and entertain. Chaucer seems, however, to operate under a different definition, one that examines the skill of the story-teller. This concern appears most clearly in the Reeve's Tale and the Man of Law's Tale. Chaucer further develops his concern with writing by connecting rhetorical skill to the intent of the story-teller as in the Merchant's, Squire's, Franklin's, and Pardoner's Tales. The Host's response to Melibee raises the question of multiple possible meanings. The Parson's Tale suggests an additional element of a good tale--audience benefit or edification. In Siege of Thebes, Lydgate suggests that a good tale both entertains and edifies. Lydgate moves away from his sources in order to emphasize virtues that the ruling class would imitate and to propound the power of words over the power of the sword.
Finlayson, John. "The Form of the Middle English Lay." 19 (1985): 352-68.
Few Middle English texts can claim to be lays, works modelled on the Breton lays of Marie de France. Generally, lays are "set in Brittany, concern love, and have a functional magical element" (361), though lays vary substantially between themselves. The similarities between Sir Degare, Le Freine, and Sir Orfeo, particularly in word choice may result from a joint author-translator. Examination of the works claiming to be lays--the Franklin's Tale, Erl of Tolous, Sir Launfal, Emaré, and Sir Gowther--shows that they can be divided into two types, but that the later works modify the form of the lay considerably.
Fyler, John M. "Love and Degree in the Franklin's Tale." 21 (1987): 321-37.
When the Franklin describes Arveragus and Dorigen's marriage, he says, "the name of soveraynetee,/ That wolde he [Arveragus] have for shame of his degree" (751-52). Properly understood, this statement suggests that Arveragus wants the "name" of sovereignty in order to offset his low social position. The name of sovereignty is a common romance motif in which the knight unknown can barely present his suit because of the difference in social station between himself and his lady. Paradoxically, once the lovers are married the male gains sovereignty. Chaucer treats the paradox of courtly love in other works including Troilus and Criseyde, the Parliament of Fowls, the Legend of Ariadne from the Legend of Good Women, and the Knight's Tale. Though the Franklin would like to believe that members of all classes can attain gentillesse, his tale suggests that ultimately gentillesse is the province of the upper classes. For its focus on these issues, the Franklin's Tale seems to respond to the Clerk's Tale most immediately.
Hamel, Mary. "The Franklin's Tale and Chrétien de Troyes." 17 (1983): 316-31.
Previously, critics believed that Chaucer was unfamiliar with the work of Chrétien de Troyes, but careful reading of Chrétien's Cligès and the Franklin's Tale shows some parallels. In both works, a knight goes to Britain to gain honor and fame. Both works treat marriage as a continuation of the lover-lady/mistress relationship and suggest that the husband remains his wife's servant though he is also her ruler. Chrétien's work, however, undercuts its own apparent justification of adultery by blasphemous parody. Like Fénice in Cligès, Dorigen is bound by her rash promise to a man she does not love, and both women see these unwilling relationships as an inevitable source of shame. Whereas Chrétien's characters never realize the romantic illusion in which they live, Chaucer's Dorigen refuses to act like a conventional romance heroine, and by her example Aurelius also transcends the conventions of courtly love in responding with charity.
Hanson, Thomas B. "Chaucer's Physician as Storyteller and Moralizer." 7 (1972): 132-39.
The Physician's Tale demonstrates that Chaucer's description of him in the General Prologue is accurate: the Physician knows little about the Bible. In the tale, plot and moralization compete for readers' attention. The Physician opens his tale by showing Virginia to be a paragon of virtue. The Physician continues, adding a great deal of Christian material to his source. The epilogue, however, passes over Virginia, making her more a victim of extremes than a martyr. By suggesting that the spirit of the law is more to be followed than the letter, the Physician's Tale joins the Franklin's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale.
Hoffman, Richard L. "Jephthah's Daughter and Chaucer's Virginia." 2 (1967): 20-31.
By paying attention to the small amount of biblical study the Physician has performed as well as the brief reference to Jephthah in his tale, one can say that the Physician's Tale was intended to be part of the Canterbury Tales, that it should follow the Franklin's Tale, that Chaucer made changes to make it more "artistic," and that the line describing the Physician's Bible study is not out of place. The reference to Jephthah's daughter not only demonstrates that the Physician is primarily concerned about the body as opposed to the soul, but it also relates Virginia to Dorigen by giving her an example of conduct which seems as poorly related to her situation as Dorigen's exempla are to hers.
Jacobs, Kathryn. "Rewriting the Marital Contract: Adultery in the Canterbury Tales." 29 (1995): 337-47.
In the Middle Ages marriages represented contracts in both the ecclesiastical and business spheres. Noticing the way adultery affects marriages in the Canterbury Tales illustrates the difference. The Shipman's Tale shows the logical consequences of treating marriage as a kind of sexual business contract. The wife's adultery in the tale allows for the restoration of a marriage, particularly in light of the economic language used by the merchant and his wife to finalize the deal. The Franklin's Tale also explores the issue of a wife's adultery in light of her husband's prolonged absence. Though Arveragus does not like the idea that Dorigen may commit adultery, he recognizes her right in a business contract to seek from another source what he has not supplied in his two-year absence.
Jacobs, Kathryn. "The Marriage Contract of the Franklin's Tale: The Remaking of Society." 20 (1985): 132-43.
The marriage of Dorigen and Arveragus is a model marriage based on the submission of both parties. The focus on the interests of the other eventually reaches the Clerk of Orleans and Aurelius who deny themselves profit or pleasure for the benefit of someone else. Arveragus's strong emotional response to Dorigen's predicament makes him sympathetic to readers and does not reestablish him as the master in his marriage. Aurelius's manipulation of Dorigen and the contractual language he uses to release her from her promise shows his lack of gentillesse, but also becomes an attempt to live up to the standard Arveragus represents. Finally, the tale tries to persuade the audience to seek greater virtue and so to become an ideal society.
Joseph, Gerhard. "The Franklin's Tale: Chaucer's Theodicy." 1 (1966): 20-32.
Chaucer does not demonstrate the ideal marriage in the Franklin's Tale, but instead shows a view of God and how God works in human situations. Dorigen's and Arveragus's agreement of equality in marriage prevents Dorigen from experiencing capriciousness on Arveragus's part. As a result, she does not learn to trust a superior; thus she cannot trust God. The agreement between Dorigen and Aurelius takes place in a paradisical garden identified as a second Eden in which Eve (Dorigen) falls to temptation and disobeys God's commands by not accepting God's natural law and so falling into pagan despair leading to suicide. Finally, God demonstrates his gracious design by having Dorigen and Aurelius finally meet in the city and not in the garden. Generous acts stem from this meeting which in turn cleanse "a squire and a clerk of their lust and greed" (31).
Knight, Stephen. "Rhetoric and Poetry in the Franklin's Tale." 4 (1969): 14-30.
Chaucer must be seen as a great poet, and his poetic works should be treated as poetry. Analysis in terms of rhetorical devices can help to reveal Chaucer's greatness. In the Franklin's Tale, Chaucer uses various styles to create the different characters and to emphasize particular elements of each scene. For example, where the Franklin speaks as Franklin, he uses short, choppy sentences. Once into telling his tale, however, his style becomes smoother. When Dorigen speaks, she uses a number of rhetorical devices which characterize her as highly emotional. Aurelius's language and indirect speech give us a picture of him as well: the language he uses suggests the highly decorative world of courtly love. As a result of the rhetoric, Dorigen's lament becomes slightly ironic. When she tells Arveragus of her plight, the language and style heighten the effect. In order to appreciate fully Chaucer's artistry, we must look beyond rhetoric to the effects which Chaucer can create with it.
Lee, Anne Thompson. "'A woman true and fair': Chaucer's Portrayal of Dorigen in the Franklin's Tale." 19 (1984): 169-78.
In the Franklin's Tale Chaucer examines a real marriage, not a theory of marriage. Dorigen's decision to consent to Aurelius is based on her real fears about Arveragus and her position in a society that forces women to accept passively their circumstances instead of taking action to change them. Dorigen's complaint is merely the Franklin's way of gaining all possible sympathy for her. Though Arveragus makes the only decision possible when he discovers her promise to Aurelius, Dorigen must ultimately pay the price. The act of going to keep her promise brings her closest to complete despair. The Franklin, however, manages to leave his audience with a picture of all the qualities he admires in the upper class.
Lee, Brian S. "The Position and Purpose of the Physician's Tale." 22 (1987): 141-60.
Chaucer alters his source material for the Physician's Tale so that what was a pagan tale becomes a Christian exemplum. Comparing the tale to Gower's Tale of Virginia and Chaucer's Legend of Lucrece shows that Gower's tale has a political agenda more than a moral one and that Chaucer has altered both the source materials so that Virginia is more active and points more toward Christian truth. Chaucer presents the Physician's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale as two contrasting exempla, one depicting good, the other evil. The Physician's Tale should be read immediately after the Franklin's Tale because the Physician's Tale presents one possible outcome of Aurelius's proposition to Dorigen. Chaucer constructs the Physician's Tale so that Virginia is passive, in part because she is so virtuous, compared to Alisoun in the Miller's Tale. In the tale Virginia is contrasted to Apius, who is presented as purely evil, but he envies Virginia's goodness. Love cures envy, and in the tale, Virginius represents that love.
Lionarons, Joyce Tally. "Magic, Machines, and Deception: Technology in the Canterbury Tales." 27 (1993): 377-86.
Because magic and machinery were associated with secrecy, in the Canterbury Tales they help aid in trickery, as in the Squire's Tale. The horse of brass seems to be a technological marvel simply because knowledge of how it works is unavailable to common people. Often such knowledge was used for practical jokes, but occasionally such knowledge could create trouble, as in the Franklin's Tale when the Clerk of Orleans removes the rocks. Like the horse in the Squire's Tale, the disappearance of the rocks was beyond the reach of medieval technology. In the Canon's Yeoman's Tale readers experience the full development of a technological distrust.
Mandel, Jerome. "Courtly Love in the Canterbury Tales." 19 (1985): 277-89.
In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer occasionally uses the trappings of courtly love as seen in the Clerk's, Merchant's, Shipman's, Squire's, Franklin's, Cook's, Reeve's, Miller's, and Knight's Tales, and the Tale of Sir Thopas. In the Canterbury Tales as a whole, however, Chaucer does not hold up courtly love as positive or important.
McGrady, Donald. "Chaucer and the Decameron Reconsidered." 12 (1977): 1-26.
Careful readers must reconsider the assumption that the Decameron is only marginally related to the Canterbury Tales. Likewise, the argument that Chaucer would not have known the Decameron because Boccaccio regretted writing it and wanted to prevent it from circulating must be rejected. Given the contacts Chaucer had with Florentine businessmen, he very likely read the Decameron before his first trip to Italy. Close reading of the Clerk's, Franklin's, Miller's, Merchant's, and Shipman's Tales reveals Chaucer's debt to Boccaccio's Decameron for elements which do not appear in any of Chaucer's other sources. The Miller's Tale, particularly borrows from three books of the Decameron. Chaucer seems, however, to have limited himself to borrowing details from the Decameron, perhaps in an effort to maintain a reputation for being an original poet.
Morgan, Gerald. "Boccaccio's Filocolo and the Moral Argument of the Franklin's Tale." 20 (1986): 285-306.
The idea of generosity presented in the Franklin's Tale is present in the sources for the tale. Chaucer's mastery of rhetoric does come through clearly in the tale, and he definitely adopts the generosity present in his sources. The tale distinguishes between vows, oaths, and promises. When Arveragus agrees that Dorigen must keep her word to Aurelius, he reveals that he esteems Dorigen's promises as much as his own. Dorigen faces a moral dilemma between suicide, a non-option for medieval Christians, and infidelity, also a non-option for a faithful woman. Arveragus loves Dorigen not jealously but with friendship, and so is willing to sacrifice his honor to prevent her from breaking her word. The Franklin's Tale thus reveals Chaucer's interest in morally problematic situations.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. "A Certein Nombre of Conclusions: The Nature and Nurture of Children in Chaucer." 16 (1981): 60-75.
Chaucer depicts parents as vitally important in raising their children, as seen in the Manciple's, Wife of Bath's, Knight's, Squire's, and Franklin's Tales. The Manciple's explicit reference to his mother, however, suggests that teaching has only a limited effect on a person. A number of pilgrims and characters behave childishly, among them the Friar and Summoner, Absolon, and January. Chaucer also focuses on children in the Prioress's and Monk's Tales.
Parry, Joseph D. "Dorigen, Narration, and Coming Home in the Franklin's Tale." 30 (1996): 262-93.
Through Dorigen, the Franklin examines the physical world in detail, and through her the tale also explores disillusionment. The tale progresses inwardly, moving from a depiction of the outside world to an examination of the psyche. At the end of the tale, Dorigen drops out of the picture so that the story valorizes male honor. The last question is an attempt of the tale to assert "a measure of control over its own meaning" (271). Chaucer examines Dorigen's character in the time she spends at home defining herself by the exempla, taken from Jerome, that she recites. Dorigen accepts the definition of woman these stories present. The Wife of Bath, on the other hand, violently attacks such texts, rejecting the narrow definitions of women they propound. In light of the texts, Dorigen attempts to convince herself to die for her honor, thereby becoming a moral heroine. By continuing to recite narratives, she discovers a way to continue living in the tale and also to conform to male prescriptions of what her appropriate behavior should be. The places of rereading on the Franklin's part create gaps through which he himself emerges into his text. Both the Franklin and Dorigen employ narrative as a means of self-advancement. Dorigen's isolation in her home as she recites the tales creates a place from which she can speak.
Peck, Russell A. "Sovereignty and the Two Worlds of the Franklin's Tale." 1 (1967): 253-71.
Chaucer does not present his ideal view of marriage through the Franklin's Tale. Instead, he examines the discernment of truth in a world concerned with illusions. The Franklin, himself, has attempted to impose his desires on the world outside himself, and thus he also exemplifies the problem of recognizing truth. He desperately wants the other pilgrims to see him as a gentleman, but constantly reveals himself as of the middle class. In his tale, Dorigen and Arveragus also attempt to present a false front to a society that does not follow the natural order. Because that order has been subverted, confusion occurs. When Dorigen goes to meet Aurelius as Arveragus orders, she releases the characters from illusions, thus restoring order.
Peterson, Joyce E. "The Finished Fragment: A Reassessment of the Squire's Tale." 5 (1970): 62-74.
Chaucer intentionally made the Squire's Tale a fragment. Examining it in terms of the larger structure of the Canterbury Tales, the narrator's point of view, and the action of tale demonstrate its completeness. Sir Thopas and the Monk's Tale show that intentional fragments result when the listeners or readers become frustrated. The Franklin halts the Squire by pretending his tale is done, showing the Franklin's sensitivity to social rank. The Squire's Tale thus becomes a "thematic link" to the Franklin's Tale. Instead of demonstrating how he is not like Damyan (Merchant's Tale), he shows the weakness of his own morality as it is based on the difference between "vulgarity and elegance, not cupiditas and caritas" (70). The Squire's Tale depicts the carnality of courtly tradition (gentillesse) and the unnaturalness of a caste system. Since the Squire has demonstrated all of this before the Franklin interrupts him, the Franklin can be said to have stopped him at the point where the action ends.
Petty, George R., Jr. "Power, Deceit, and Misinterpretation: Uncooperative Speech in the Canterbury Tales." 27 (1993): 413-23.
Often the responses of Chaucer's characters to certain parts of the narrative reflect deep anxieties about their position in this world in light of power structures and confining discourses. By mistinterpreting texts, they can avoid the discomfort these texts create. Dorigen uses this strategy to avoid Aurelius in the Franklin's Tale; it also appears in the Nun's Priest's Tale, and the Wife of Bath uses it quite successfully. In the end the Parson uses this strategy in the Poetria nova. Chaucer's Retraction is the final instance of this strategy in the Canterbury Tales.
Raybin, David. "'Women, of kynde, desiren libertee': Rereading Dorigen, Rereading Marriage." 27 (1992): 65-86.
In the Franklin's Tale, Dorigen asserts her place as a woman who can make her own choices. Careful examination of Arveragus's response to her announcement that she has made a promise to Aurelius to become his lover reveals that Arveragus is rather non-committal and that Dorigen acts as a free interpeter of what Arveragus has said. Furthermore, her complaint reveals a woman who recognizes her right to determine what happens to her body, and comprehension that she must make such a choice. As a result her behavior, particularly that which occurs in the public sphere usually reserved for men, undermines that sphere. To love requires freedom of the kind Dorigen asserts she possesses in the Franklin's Tale.
Rosenberg, Bruce A. "The Bari Widow and the Franklin's Tale." 14 (1980): 344-52.
Folklore studies indicate that two authors in different places are unlikely to create similar complex tales. Thus, Boccaccio's Filocolo and Chaucer's Franklin's Tale most likely come from a common source--the "Widow of Bari." Although the surface details differ between the "Widow of Bari" and Chaucer's Franklin's Tale, the motifs are similar and occur in the same order. Chaucer adds an emphasis on time to the analogues, thereby increasing the realism of the characters.
Ruggiers, Paul G. "Platonic Forms in Chaucer." 17 (1983): 366-82.
Chaucer builds his poetry around four different topics, "1) eating and drinking; 2) sexuality and love; 3) play and seriousness; and 4) the making of art" (367). Drinking has religious overtones of suffering, and the drinking image appears in the Reeve's, Pardoner's, Man of Law's, and Franklin's Tales as well as in Troilus and Criseyde and the House of Fame. Chaucer treats love in four different ways as seen in Troilus and Criseyde, and in the Miller's , Reeve's, and Second Nun's Tales. Furthermore the Canterbury Tales as a whole experiments with the theme of play, examining play from a number of different points of view. Chaucer also investigates what it is to create a literary work, a theme particularly present in the Tale of Sir Thopas and the Tale of Melibee.
Scott, Anne. "'Considerynge the beste on every syde': Ethics, Empathy, and Epistemology in the Franklin's Tale." 29 (1995): 390-415.
In the Franklin's Tale Chaucer questions the rigid maintenance of particular epistemologies. He suggests that any codified epistemology or set of ethical standards must be flexible for individuals to maintain happiness, and that all ethical systems must contain elements of compassion. The characters in the Franklin's Tale operate in a rigid framework which understands two opposing courses of action. Thus, Dorigen constructs her response to Aurelius in binary terms, and Arveragus's response to the situation seems a logical conclusion to his way of seeing the world, though it excludes both his and Dorigen's feelings. Arveragus's response does, however, preserve the hierarchy in which he lives. Dorigen represents a different epistemology based on information received from the senses and emotions. Her behavior, then, is subject to misguided intuition or insight. Aurelius does not represent an unflawed middle ground, since he can also be overwhelmed by emotion. In the process of the tale, each character faces the weaknesses inherent in his or her respective epistemology in order that they come to a "more effective process of moral reasoning" (407). The interraction of the characters' ways of knowing allows Chaucer to suggest the best possible epistemology to his audience.
Shoaf, R. A. "The Franklin's Tale: Chaucer and Medusa ." 21 (1986): 274-90.
The Franklin's Tale shows how Chaucer read Dante's Inferno, Cantos 9 and 10. Chaucer especially uses the image of the Medusa who turns to stone those who look at her. Dorigen's response to Aurelius's announcement that the rocks are gone indicates her "a-stone-ishment" (275). Chaucer uses the image of Medusa to examine the difficulties illusions create for those who cannot pierce the rhetoric from which they are built. As a result of these problems, Chaucer advocates an unshrinking analytic faculty to his readers.
Tripp, Raymond P., Jr. "The Darker Side to Absolon's Dawn Visit." 20 (1986): 207-12.
In both the Franklin's and Miller's Tales, Chaucer portrays male "lovers" who would kill their beloved women for principle (Arveragus) or for revenge (Absolon). In both tales, the lovers' desire to destroy the beloved springs from an impossible desire to control love.
Witke, Charles. "Franklin's Tale, F 1139-1151." 1 (1966): 33-36.
By including a passage on magic, the Franklin reveals a personal interest in magic literature and shows himself familiar with Breton lays. The magic that occurs in his tale, however, appears only in a possible source for Boccaccio, not, as has been suggested, in a lay which is no longer extant.