The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Pearlman, E. "The Psychological Basis of the Clerk's Tale." 11 (1977): 248-57.
The Clerk's Tale works out a psychological position which was prevalent in the fourteenth century, but is no longer common. Griselda does not separate herself from Walter. She puts herself entirely in his control. The marriage uses conventions of marriages between gods and humans in which the god-partner has all the power and the human-partner takes a vow of complete obedience. Griselda's and Walter's relationship also follows a pattern of colonialism wherein the powerful people are gods and the impotent people are the subjects. Such a system is based on a hierarchy of perceived physical differences between the two kinds of people.