The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Blyth, Charles. "Virgilian Tragedy and Troilus." 24 (1990): 211-18.
Troilus and Criseyde may be defined as a Virgilian tragedy placed between recorded history and the emotional response such a tragedy evokes. Gavin Douglas's translation of the Aeneid demonstrates his recognition of this position in that he alludes both to Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and to Henryson's Testament of Cresseid in his wording and by his use of rhyme royal. Virgil refers to tragedies in both the books about the fall of Troy and tragedy of Dido. To view these passages as tragic, however, readers must view them in retrospect.
Boffey, Julia. "The Reputation and Circulation of Chaucer's Lyrics in the Fifteenth Century." 28 (1993): 23-40.
Though the impact of Chaucer's lyrics on fifteenth-century writers is difficult to determine, his influence can be traced in three different ways: "general situations" and "rhetorical strategies" (28), rhyme royal and ballad stanza forms, and rhymes. Examinations of sample texts illustrate imitations in each of the three ways. That other writers imitate Chaucer so much suggests that Chaucer's short poems circulated in some form. Among the poems in which passages which specific passages can be found illustrating that other writers borrowed passages and methods from Chaucer's works are Hoccleve's Mother of God and Balade to Sir Henry Somer, Lydgate's Temple of Glass, the Complaint of the Black Knight, the Troy Book, A Pageant of Knowledge, Thoroughfare of Woe, the Fall of Princes, and the Flower of Courtesy. In addition, the translator of Partonope de Blois, and the writer of the Kingis Quair also use some of chaucer's methods and lift certain passages. Unfortunately, however, because the original poems were never bound and scribes had difficulties copying them, there are a number of textual problems which make the influence of Chaucer's works difficult to trace.
Brody, Saul Nathaniel. "Chaucer's Rhyme Royal Tales and the Secularization of the Saint." 20 (1985): 113-31.
Chaucer's tales written in rhyme royal have a common focus on saints' lives and martyrs. In the Second Nun's, Clerk's, Prioress's, and Man of Law's Tales, divine justice controls the outcome of the tale. Even the Clerk's Tale teaches us that we should obey God in adversity. These tales all follow the traditional pattern of saints' lives and evoke a heightened emotional response from the audience. The rhyme royal tales complement each other, showing how secular values influence written accounts of saints' lives. Ultimately, however, such influence robs the stories of some vitality.
Frese, Dolores Warwick. "Chaucer's Clerk's Tale: The Monsters and the Critics Reconsidered." 8 (1973): 133-46.
The Clerk's Envoy releases readers from the tension created in his tale, a tension which finally is unresolved. Chaucer creates this tension by having the Clerk be so filled with his work that even common people use parts of Latin formulae for prayers. The Clerk also draws extensively from religious rule books, and he uses the image of Christ as a husband who tests his wife. This testing results in pathetic events, but is also filled with traditional religious implications. Griselda's response to Walter's tests is clearly religious. But the Clerk has difficulty maintaining his distance from his tale and as the tale progresses, he makes more and more emotional outbursts into the narrative. The Clerk's training also appears in the technical aspects of his tale. The stanzaic pattern of rhyme royale is also the pattern for the narrative. Thus Chaucer suits his tale uniquely to its teller.