The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Frantzen, Allen J. "The Body in Soul and Body I." 17 (1982): 76-88.
Ideas about penance are the basis for Soul and Body I. Clearly, the body's behavior dictates the soul's future. The soul, however, is superior to the body, though the body may defeat the soul. Penance is the responsibility of the body to ensure the soul's well-being. The decay of the evil body after death represents the torments of the evil soul in hell, while the good soul/ body remains untouched by such destruction.
Jabbour, Alan. "Memorial Transmission in Old English Poetry." 3 (1969): 174-90.
Two primary theories have been proposed for the creation of Old English poetry, a strictly oral theory and a transitional theory. Comparing British works of the Anglo-Saxon period with Southslavic works in the oral tradition produces a third possibility. In the oral tradition, poets memorize the plan of the story, orally improvising the words and phrases in rendition. Following the memorized plan allows for two separate possibilities: the poet can rely primarily on memory for most things or the poet can rely on improvisation for most of the details. Scholars cannot posit a "transitional" stage between oral and written works in which the written text has the formulas of the oral tradition because such a text in written form does not have the necessary element of improvisation. However, the memorial tradition shares with written text the attempt to maintain a given work in both story line and detail. Thus a memorial tradition, like that of British poetry, can easily relate to a written tradition. There may be a transitional text between written and memorial transmission in that the memorial transmission may appropriate a written text, but the text may not yet have experienced all the changes which come with full incorporation into the memorial tradition. Extended examination of Old English texts, for example Soul and Body, demonstrates the memorial transmission of texts and suggests a profitable relationship between written and oral texts.