The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Anderson, J. J. "The Narrators in the Book of the Duchess and the Parliament of Fowls." 26 (1992): 219-35.
Though the narrators of Chaucer's dream visions seem to share the same naiveté, they are all variations upon the narrators of the French dream visions, and this fact suggests that Chaucer was experimenting with different narrative personas. Comparing the personas in Book of the Duchess and Parliament of Fowls makes this conclusion particularly clear. The two speakers open their poems differently, expressing different views of love, reading, and writing. Their experiences of the dream world are similar in that the dream world provides a welcome respite from the waking world, but in the end, neither narrator seems to profit much from the dream, though their responses to their dreams are quite different.
Barney, Stephen A. "Suddenness and Process in Chaucer." 16 (1981): 18-37.
Chaucer uses sudden action to emphasize both good and bad events. Troilus and Criseyde has the most occurrences of sudden appearances and events of all of Chaucer's works, though the Wife of Bath's, Knight's, Miller's, and Squire's Tales also use this technique. Chaucer uses suddenness of emotions when depicting courtly manners and quick judgments for moral questions (26). By tracing suddenness through Troilus and Criseyde, readers realize that Chaucer makes "humorous, ridiculous, or contemptible" what is sudden (30). Chaucer also focuses significantly on process, the process of time as opposed to Fortune, the process of time as a consolation, and the process of penitence. Though Troilus falls in love suddenly, he continues to love Criseyde by process, thereby expressing patience.
Houle, Peter. "Stage and Metaphor in the French Morality: L'Homme Juste et L'Homme Mondain." 14 (1979): 1-22.
The French morality play L'Homme Juste et L'Homme Mondain contains a complete treatment of vices and virtues. In the play, Simon Bougouin uses religious verse narrative techniques and techniques adapted from allegorical theater. In the course of their lives, Mondain falls to vice while Juste follows virtue. Bougouin operates on two assumptions: "that morality in both its personal and its historical contexts is best explained by . . . dualism; that the goal of the human is to be assumed into the divine" (2). The stage directions accompanying L'Homme Juste et L'Homme Mondain seem general enough to accommodate any production. The brothers, Mondain and Juste, follow two different paths, one leading towards hell, the other leading towards heaven. Hell is well-developed opposite Paradise by two tier staging. The importance of the ranks of good and evil forces suggests that a multi-level stage would be necessary for effective staging. Apart from staging requirements, only a few other props are needed. The stage placement of Lucifer and God allows the interpretation of the playing area as the moral cosmos. Bougouin dramatizes moral, not temporal, progress through life. Through Mondain, Bougouin demonstrates the debilitating results of sin, both to the sinner and to society, while Juste shows the benefits of virtuous behavior. Spectacle is an important aspect of this morality play since it explicitly pictures the progression from virtue to virtue and from vice to vice.