The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Berger, Harry, Jr. "The F-Fragment of the Canterbury Tales: Part II." 1 (1967): 135-56.
The Franklin's Tale is highly symbolic. Unlike the Squire, the Franklin has the ability to control his tale: rhetorical devices do not get in the way. The tale presents the dangers of recreation, while at the same time, it is a recreation. The Franklin aligns himself with the forces of common sense as opposed to those of courtly love. He spends a good deal of time on magic, and in the process "magic, courtly love, [and] fiction are given qualified approval as amusements for the social hour" (148). The Franklin's digressions demonstrate his view of life--that the future is not a decline from youth, but full of promise--and they follow the Franklin's pattern of "withdrawal and return, play and work" (151). The conclusion of the tale attempts to examine the application of old knightly ideals to a new world filled with commerce and clerkly activities.
Bestul, Thomas H. "The Man of Law's Tale and the Rhetorical Foundations of Chaucerian Pathos." 9 (1975): 216-26.
Chaucer's use of rhetorical devices creates an emotional response to Griselda and Constance. In the Man of Law's Tale, as in others, Chaucer explores the idea that emotion is the most convincing part of poetry. Rhetorical tradition encourages the use of detail, which Chaucer uses to his advantage in describing Donegild's mistreatment of Constance in order to increase the pathos of this section. The Man of Law's Tale thus gives evidence for the medieval view that as long as the passions are properly directed, they are not dangerous. The intense pathos of their stories causes the audience to recognize the virtues of Constance and Griselda. Indeed, the pathos of the Man of Law's Tale derives in large measure from Chaucer's use of rhetorical devices to shape the emotions of his readers.
Biggam, C. P. "Aspects of Chaucer's Adjectives of Hue." 28 (1993): 41-53.
Chaucer uses primarily English hue lexemes, and he uses the most basic formation for each word. He uses color adjectives primarily for people; the greatest occurrence of these adjectives is in the Knight's Tale. Overall, Chaucer uses more color terms than his contemporaries. Chaucer also employs colors symbolically in accordance with ancient and pagan traditions.
Harrington, David V. "Narrative Speed in the Pardoner's Tale." 3 (1968): 50-59.
The lack of transitions in the narrative of the Pardoner's Tale causes readers to miss the audacity of the Pardoner's telling about his own fraudulent activities. Readers both applaud the moral statements of the Pardoner's sermon and feel a growing disgust for him, but because of the speed at which the tale unfolds, have no time to stop and consider what they are reading. The poet uses rhetorical devices--asyndeton, hyperbaton--to denote hurried movement. The seeming disjointedness of the elements in the Pardoner's sermon contributes to this sense of a quickly unfolding narrative. Readers then, should not consider the Pardoner's Tale with an eye to the strength of the contradictions, but instead, focus on the degree to which this tale reflects a truth of the human condition--that all people experience similar contradictions between their beliefs and their behavior.
Knight, Stephen. "Rhetoric and Poetry in the Franklin's Tale." 4 (1969): 14-30.
Chaucer must be seen as a great poet, and his poetic works should be treated as poetry. Analysis in terms of rhetorical devices can help to reveal Chaucer's greatness. In the Franklin's Tale, Chaucer uses various styles to create the different characters and to emphasize particular elements of each scene. For example, where the Franklin speaks as Franklin, he uses short, choppy sentences. Once into telling his tale, however, his style becomes smoother. When Dorigen speaks, she uses a number of rhetorical devices which characterize her as highly emotional. Aurelius's language and indirect speech give us a picture of him as well: the language he uses suggests the highly decorative world of courtly love. As a result of the rhetoric, Dorigen's lament becomes slightly ironic. When she tells Arveragus of her plight, the language and style heighten the effect. In order to appreciate fully Chaucer's artistry, we must look beyond rhetoric to the effects which Chaucer can create with it.
Merix, Robert P. "Sermon Structure in the Pardoner's Tale." 17 (1983): 235-49.
The specific sermon form previously thought to apply to all late medieval sermons only applies to the sermon a candidate for a Master's of Theology would give. Public sermons were much less fixed in form. Careful examination of the Pardoner's Tale reveals that it follows the sermon form, uses similar rhetorical techniques, and has the same relationship of theme to form as most medieval sermons.
Ramazani, Jahan. "Chaucer's Monk: The Poetics of Abbreviation, Aggression, and Tragedy." 27 (1993): 260-76.
The Monk tells his tales in such a way to circumscribe himself and his tales, which are constructed in circles. He also uses the same phonemic and rhetorical devices throughout each story. The way in which Chaucer presents the Monk leads readers to question the relationship between text and context. Chaucer also connects the Monk's Tale to anal retentive psychological behavior in that the Monk has a violent temper, a subtext of his tragedies. The connection between narrative and violence is reinforced by the Monk's connection to the monk in the Shipman's Tale. Chaucer does not criticize de casibus tragedy, but he does criticize the formulaic view the Monk presents of it.
Stephens, John. "The Uses of Personae and the Art of Obliqueness in Some Chaucer Lyrics: Part III." 22 (1987): 41-52.
In "To Rosemounde" comedy derives from Chaucer's alterations of a conventional situation. The speaker does not display passion or intense desire. In Part IV of "Complaint to His Lady," the speaking persona carefully manipulates complaint conventions and rhetorical devices in order to advance his suit. Readers notice that, when they compare the two poems, "To Rosemounde" parodies "Complaint to a Lady." The comic irony used to create the speaker is sharp, but comedy is not necessary to highlight the speakers' differences. "Complaint to His Purse" is Chaucer's most overt parody of the complaint convention. Examination of the lyrics in this series of articles illustrates that none of Chaucer's personas are exactly alike.