The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Dean, James. "Chaucer's Repentance: A Likely Story." 24 (1989): 64-76.
Though present-day readers are skeptical that Chaucer cried in repentance on his deathbed, the placement of the Parson's Tale and the "Retraction" at the end of the Canterbury Tales suggests that Chaucer followed Langland, Mandeville, Deguilleville, and Gower in retraction, but Chaucer changes the tradition. In works by each of the other four, a journey or pilgrimage is followed by episodic experience or storytelling, followed by age and perhaps penitence. Given the prevalence of this pattern, Thomas Gascoigne's account of Chaucer's deathbed repentence is likely to be true.
Eisner, Sigmund. "The Ram Revisited: A Canterbury Conundrum." 28 (1994): 330-43.
Readers must realize that the sign of the Ram and the constellation of the Ram are completely different. The date given by the placement of the Ram at the beginning of the Canterbury Tales is April 17, but the references to the stars function on two different levels. On one level Chaucer tells about the mid-point of Aries. On the other Chaucer creates a pilgrimage between Aries and Libra, telling of the lifespan of humankind.
Olmert, Michael. "The Parson's Ludic Formula for Winning on the Road [To Canterbury]." 20 (1985): 158-68.
The Parson's Tale can be considered in terms of the game of the Christian life. In telling his tale, the Parson gives the rules for winning. The standards the Parson espouses seem completely to oppose the way most people think about life. Unlike the Host, who promises the earthly reward of a free meal at the end of the pilgrimage, the Parson promises a heavenly banquet to those who listen to and do what he says.
Portnoy, Phyllis. "Beyond the Gothic Cathedral: Post-Modern Reflections on the Canterbury Tales." 28 (1994): 279-92.
If readers add time to the elements of a gothic cathedral, they can easily analyze the fragmented narrative of the Canterbury Tales. The Parson's Prologue resolves the temporal dimension in the tales while pushing it into a timeless one. The pilgrims find themselves on a continuum of spiritual health and spiritual sickness. This continuum suggests a hole in the ideology. That the pilgrimage itself cannot escape the forces of disorder is evident in the progression from the Knight's Tale to the Miller's Tale. The Nun's Priest's Tale also raises the question of justice. The Retraction futher contributes to our sense of disorder because Chaucer uses it to remove the authorial mask.
Yates, Donald. "Chanticleer's Latin Ancestors." 18 (1983): 116-26.
Several analogues of the Nun's Priest's Tale are extant, and most include a bird and a fox or wolf. Gallus et Vulpes should be more carefully examined because in addition to similar elements, it also treats the material humorously, laying a foundation for Chaucer's entertaining use of the subject matter in the Nun's Priest's Tale. Isengrimus is a Latin epic analogue, but it differs from the Nun's Priest's Tale in developing a pilgrimage theme. Isengrimus also treats the theme of Fortune.
Ziolkowski, Jan. "A Narrative Structure in the Alliterative Morte Arthure 1-1221 and 3150-4346." 22 (1988): 234-45.
The Alliterative Morte Arthure is divided into two parallel prescient dreams, both of which have overtones of pilgrimage.