The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Cox, Lee Sheridan. "A Question of Order in the Canterbury Tales." 1 (1967): 228-52.
The critical debate regarding the identity of the interrupter in the Man of Law's endlink has been endless. The candidates have been the Wife of Bath, the Shipman, the Squire, and the Summoner. The argument for the Shipman rests on the assumption that his tale was first assigned to the Wife, but later transferred to the Shipman when she was given another tale. Differences in manuscripts complicate the problem, but one can show that the Man of Law-Shipman theory rests on the best and generally most authoritative manuscripts.
Keiser, George R. "In Defense of the Bradshaw Shift." 12 (1978): 191-201.
In accepting the Ellesmere order, critics must deal with the absence of the Man of Law's Endlink, references to Rochester and Sittingbourne, and feminine pronouns. Merely adding the Endlink and altering the order takes a critic beyond manuscript authority. Connecting the Man of Law's Endlink to the Shipman's Tale removes the problem of place references and creates a more unified grouping.
Keiser, George R. "Language and Meaning in Chaucer's Shipman's Tale." 12 (1978): 147-61.
The swearing in the Shipman's Tale points to the failure of the merchant, wife, and monk to use language precisely. Instead of accepting this life as shadowy, these characters seek to change their circumstances, but in order to do so, they often choose to use language to cloud their motives. Oaths are combined with overstatement in such a way that the oath emphasizes the meaning behind the overstatement. The merchant's friendship with the monk is superficial as the merchant's failure to recognize the monk's nature indicates. Because of the merchant's over-concern with money, the simplicity which results makes him less sympathetic. The vague language and neutral moral atmosphere are appropriate to the teller of the Man of Law's Endlink. That the Man of Law's Endlink is a suitable transition to the Shipman's Tale suggests that the two pieces ought to be read as a unit.
Ortego, Philip D. "Chaucer's 'Phislyas': A Problem in Paleography and Linguistics." 9 (1974): 182-89.
The Shipman's use of the word "phislyas" has created confusion among scholars. The Shipman must refer to medicine or physic since the word "phislyas" appears in a trio with philosophy and law.