The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Connolly, Margaret. "Chaucer and Chess." 29 (1994): 40-44.
Chaucer's use of the chess metaphor in the Book of the Duchess is confused, even from a medieval perspective on the game. Chaucer's misunderstanding can be attributed to the fact that no English translation of Liber de ludo scaccorum existed at the time Chaucer wrote, though two French translations can be dated in the mid-fourteenth century. Chaucer's knowledge of chess came via the Roman de la Rose.
Rendall, Thomas. "Gawain and the Game of Chess." 27 (1992): 186-99.
Chess was a popular game in medieval romances often played between the sexes as an excuse for courting. Also, the stake was often the loser's head. Other medieval works such as Les Eschez Amoureux, Garin de Montglane, Huon de Bordeaux, Book of the Duchess, and Guy of Warwick depict chess as part of the game of courtship. The use of chess terms to describe the game in which Gawain and the Green Knight participate suggests that the Pearl-Poet wants to present this game as if it were a game of chess.