The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Bradbury, Nancy Mason. "Gentrification and the Troilus." 28 (1994): 305-29.
In Troilus and Criseyde readers see the movement of popular, folkloric material from the lower classes to the upper classes. Scrutiny of stanzas throughout the work reveals the influence of English on the courtly idiom of French, and tension between high and low elements is constant throughout the poem. To accomplish the shift in register between learned language of the upper class and popular language, Chaucer often uses proverbs which were readily accessible to any class. Chaucer also alludes to several popular stories.
Coletti, Theresa. "The Mulier Fortis and Chaucer's Shipman's Tale." 15 (1981): 236-49.
In the Shipman's Tale Chaucer parodies a passage in Proverbs, a favorite passage of medieval commentators, describing the ideal wife. From the beginning, the tale shifts to cruder emphasis than the Proverbs passage. The echoes of the proverbial good wife suggest that this tale was originally intended for the Wife of Bath.
Luxon, Thomas H. "'Sentence' and 'Solaas': Proverbs and Consolation in the Knight's Tale." 22 (1987): 94-111.
In the Knight's Tale "sentence" and "solaas" frequently oppose each other. At the end of the tale Theseus propounds the belief that Fortune controls life, but the tale contains many seemingly irrational events. By forcusing on pain, Chaucer disrupts his audience's sense of an ordered world. Occasionally the narrator asks readers to share pain, but sometimes, the speaker seems to attempt to separate readers from the pain. Distancing techniques include clinical, descriptive language, occupatio, proverbs, and conventional wisdom. Finally, the Knight shows that "sentence" follows a struggle for "solaas."
Mieszkowski, Gretchen. "Chaucer's Pandarus and Jean Brasdefer's Houdée." 20 (1985): 40-60.
In Pamphile et Galatée, Jean Brasdefer's translation and expansion of Pamphilus, de Amore, the character Houdée fills the role of Pandarus in Troilus and Criseyde. In fact, Houdée uses a speech pattern similar to that of Pandarus, though Pamphile is the earlier work. Both Pandarus and Houdée lecture, over-use proverbs, refer frequently to authorities, make learned jokes, and speak to hear themselves talk, but they both use "vital, direct, earthy, colloquial" speech (49) founded in everyday activities. Houdée is, however, incongruous, so readers perceive her as a joke. Pandarus achieves the status of highly evolved character, in part because the conflicts and contrasts in his character are not so extreme. Scholars cannot positively state that Pamphile et Galatée is Chaucer's source for Pandarus, but the similarities are suggestive.
Strohm, Paul A. "The Allegory of the Tale of Melibee." 2 (1967): 32-42.
The Tale of Melibee is more than a set of proverbs; it is a moral allegory in which Sophie, Melibee's daughter, represents his soul and the five wounds she receives represent the five senses by which temptation has entered. Though many critics follow the Host in taking the tale merely as a set of proverbs, Chaucer demonstrates his interest in the allegory by naming Melibee's soul "Sophie."