The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Fredell, Joel. "Late Gothic Portraiture: The Prioress and Philippa." 23 (1989): 181-91.
Chaucer adds individualizing details to the traditional portrait materials in presenting portraits of each pilgrim in the Canterbury Tales. In presenting this mixture, Chaucer borrows from the medieval tradition of portrait sculpture which likewise included individualizing details. Characterization in the Nun's Priest's Tale shows that the old rhetorical criteria do not apply to what Chaucer wants to do. Furthermore, examining the funeral sculputure of Phillipa of Hainault reminds readers of Chaucer's verbal portrait of the Prioress. The Prioress seems to be trying to make herself a courtly lady as does Philllipa of Hainault.
Hardman, Phillipa. "The Book of the Duchess as a Memorial Monument." 28 (1994): 205-15.
Chaucer constructed the Book of the Duchess on the model of the elaborate tombs popular among the aristocracy in the Middle Ages. In poetry Chaucer could create an idealized image of Blanche of Lancaster, much the way a sculptor would make such an image for a tomb. The images of Seys and Alcyone that Chaucer creates also represent the "sorrow of death" (213).
Jordan, Carmel. "Soviet Archeology and the Setting of the Squire's Tale." 22 (1987): 128-40.
Archaelogical research reveals that the city of Sarai, the setting for the Squire's Tale, was a center of international trade. Chaucer could have gained knowledge of Sarai from Genoese merchants who had strong trade ties to Sarai. Records indicate the exotic beauty of the city in art, sculpture, and architecture, and ruins also show that the Khans who lived in Sarai had a great interest in magic. In the Squire's Tale Chaucer skillfully combines setting with details in the tale.