The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Archibald, Elizabeth. "Declarations of 'Entente' in Troilus and Criseyde." 25 (1991): 190-213.
Troilus and Criseyde is more than a psychological drama; it is a "drama of intentions" (190) examined from the angles of good intentions, bad intentions, and mistaken intentions. Recognition of how intentions differ from what happens or how intentions oppose what characters say allows readers to recognize ironies. Throughout the poem, "entente" is linked to truth, sexuality, and departure, among a variety of other meanings and connotations. Often these associations are created by rhyme patterns. Chaucer can thereby draw attention to the difficulty of following through one's intentions and suggest to the reader the complexities of the human psyche. Of course, Chaucer's intentions are most difficult to discern.
Chickering, Howell. "Form and Interpretation in the Envoy to the Clerk's Tale." 29 (1995): 352-72.
The instability of the Envoy to the Clerk's Tale solidifies the rest of the tale as ambiguous and filled with conflicting ironies. That the placement of the Envoy differs between the Ellesmere and the Hengwrt manuscripts adds further confusion to the issue. The Envoy is actually an ironic comment on the teller of the tale, Griselda, and the Wife of Bath. While the Envoy has "a highly specific poetic character" (358), it demands an entirely indeterminate interpretation. Like the French poems from which it comes, the Envoy operates on intense sound patterns, like those described by Deschamps in L'Art de dictier. The complexity of the rhyme scheme shows that Chaucer consciously fashioned this poem to "say something difficult with great ease and mastery" (361), a result Chaucer also achieves through poetic pacing. The combination of these elements makes the poem aesthetically pleasing, though ultimately ambiguous.
Ebin, Lois. "Dunbar's 'Fresch anamalit termes celicall' and the Art of the Occasional Poet." 17 (1983): 292-99.
Dunbar uses the enameled style to make a passing event permanent in literature. In "Ane Ballat of Our Lady" for example, Dunbar uses rhyme, alliteration, and repeated sounds to create a polished surface for his text. Dunbar employs similar techniques for an equally lasting result in "The Ballade of Lord Bernard Stewart, Lord of Aubigny," "The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie," and "Schir, Ye Have Mony Servitouris," though these poems are considerably different from each other.
Murphy, Michael. "On Making an Edition of the Canterbury Tales in Modern Spelling." 26 (1991): 48-64.
Reading Chaucer in any transcription, whether one that reproduces Chaucer's original spelling and punctuation exactly, adding nothing, or one that modernizes spelling, rhythm, and rhyme to make his verse more accessible to the twentieth-century reader, presents difficulty in determining what was Chaucer's original text. In order fully to appreciate Chaucer's work, readers must be willing to abandon their ideas of order, form, rhyme, and rhythm and to alter their readings.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. "Notes on Gower's Prosody." 28 (1994): 405-413.
Analysis of the Mirour de l'Omme and the Confessio amantis shows that Gower borrowed regular, octosyllabic standard meter and intricate rhyme patterns from French writers like Machaut. He also uses run-on lines. To create humor, Gower emphasizes his rhymes.
Stephens, John. "The Uses of Personae and the Art of Obliqueness in Some Chaucer Lyrics: Part II." 21 (1987): 459-68.
The speaker of the Envoy to Scogan approaches himself and his hearer humorously; the speaker of "L'Envoy de Chaucer a Bukton" uses aphorisms and relies on readers to notice the speaker's role. The difference between the two speakers appears when readers compare the use of vocatives, rhyme and stress patterns, and postponement techniques. Both poems examine the speaker's thoughts. Each poem develops a different theme. The personas also develop differently, resulting in different relationships to readers.