The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Anderson, David. "Theban Genealogy in the Knight's Tale." 21 (1987): 311-20.
Chaucer never specifically records the genealogy of Palamon and Arcite in the Knight's Tale, but he carefully refers to Statius's Thebiad. These references suggest that Palamon and Arcite are the survivors of Oedipus's house. Once this genealogy is established, readers also perceive that it illuminates the theme of fraternal opposition in the tale.
Benson, C. David. "The Knight's Tale as History." 3 (1968): 107-23.
Though many scholars classify the Knight's Tale as a romance, it actually bears great similarity to fourteenth-century chronicles, as Chaucer's attention to realistic historical detail suggests. Chaucer adds to and deletes from Boccaccio's Teseida as well as Statius's Thebiad to create a classical world which would be believable to a medieval audience, though the poem does not accurately represent the world of Greece and Thebes. By including a large amount of historical detail, Chaucer also examines chivalry in a pre-Christian state. Chaucer shows the best of secular knighthood and suggests that it foreshadows Christian chivalry.
Nicholson, R. H. "Theseus's 'Ordinaunce': Justice and Ceremony in the Knight's Tale." 22 (1988): 192-213.
When examined in light of the ceremonies, excluding marriage, found in the Knight's Tale, Theseus becomes the central character. Chaucer depicts him differently from his counterparts in the Thebiad and the Teseida. In Chaucer, Theseus carries out justice, and in order to do that, he goes to war against Creon. He then behaves with justice and pity to those whom he has conquered. When he sets Palamon and Arcite up to fight a tournament for Emily, Theseus behaves with chivalry and wisdom, two other characteristics of a good king. Though ultimately the audience does not remember Theseus's actions as much as they do the plot of the love story, Theseus "invests the romance with its distinguished unity" (207).
Wimsatt, James I. "'Anelida and Arcite': A Narrative of Complaint and Comfort." 5 (1970): 1-8.
Anelida and Arcite is related to both Boccaccio's Teseida and to Statius's Thebiad. The emotion which fills each stanza unifies the poem. The set complaint and the rhyme scheme indicate the strong influence of French sources, which also suggest the kind of ending Chaucer would have written: a "comfort" in which the lovers are reunited.