The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Chance, Jane. "Chaucerian Irony in the Boethian Short Poems: The Dramatic Tension between Classical and Christian." 20 (1986): 235-45.
Chaucer uses Boethian imagery in the "Former Age," "Fortune," "Balades de Visage Sanz Peinture," "Lak of Stedfastnesse," "Gentillesse," and "Truth." In each of these poems, Boethian imagery illustrates the place of humankind in this world. Chaucer also uses this imagery to create irony in "Lak of Stedfastnesse," "Gentillesse," and "Truth."
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."
Pichaske, David R., and Laura Sweetland. "Chaucer on the Medieval Monarchy: Harry Bailly in the Canterbury Tales." 11 (1977): 179-200.
Because the Host "rules" the pilgrims (179), readers can examine his behavior and determine Chaucer's attitude towards the monarchy. As the tales progress in the Ellesmere order, readers perceive that the Host changes from tyrannical ruler to good governor. In Group I, the Host's response to the Miller shows him to be a poor ruler, and the domination of the Miller and the Reeve at the end of Group I suggests that the Host is not fit to rule. The Clerk's response to the Host's demand for a tale indicates an awareness of the limits under which a political ruler governs. The Host's response to the Pardoner shows that he has not yet recognized the authority of charity over all the pilgrims. He has, however, become more gentle. When the Host rescues the Cook, he demonstrates the care and concern of a good ruler for his subjects. At the entrance to Canterbury, the heavenly city, the Host relinquishes his rulership of the pilgrims. Readers should not be surprised by the political commentary in the Canterbury Tales, since both the Legend of Good Women and the "Lak of Stedfastnesse" include extended political comments.
Scattergood, John. "Social and Political Issues in Chaucer: An Approach to Lak of Stedfastnesse." 21 (1987): 469-75.
Though some of Chaucer's other poems have clear political referents, "Lak of Stedfastnesse" is not easily connected to a specific political personage. Chaucer camouflages his political agenda behind "traditional genres" and "generalized statements" (474). The poem can be connected to Richard II, but the specific situation is difficult to ascertain because the number of events leading to a fear of instability is numerous.