The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Hamel, Mary. "The Dream of a King: The Alliterative Morte Arthure and Dante." 14 (1980): 298-312.
Arthur's terrifying dream at the start of the Alliterative Morte Arthure accurately predicts his fall. Sage philosophers correctly interpret his dream, suggesting that it is time for Arthur to admit his misdeeds and to ask God for mercy, but Arthur shows no interest in doing so. The terrifying atmosphere of the dream may well derive from the first Canto of Dante's Inferno--a poem that the author of the Alliterative Morte Arthure probably knew. A comparison of the two suggests that Arthur had, indeed, become a man of worldly values--a man of violence, anger, avarice, and pride. His fall at the hands of Fortune, then, can be seen as a punishment for his sin or a correction of his flawed character. By the end of the poem, Arthur comes to a full realization of his flaws and achieves an understanding of the role of Fortune. He dies repentant and reconciled to his fate, having learned that what appears to be bad fortune is really good.
Lampe, David E. "The Poetic Strategy of the Parlement of the Thre Ages." 7 (1973): 173-83.
The length of the opening section of the Parliament of the Three Ages prepares the reader for the dream vision. The flowers both represent the temporality of human life and offer correction to those too involved in the temporal world. The birds show different dispositions towards love, foreshadowing the dream figures. The narrator's behavior also sets up the dream. In the dream discussion, both Youthe and Medil Elde demonstrate their failures. Elde, recalling figures of the past, emphasizes how mortality has affected the Nine Worthies. Thus, the poet suggests that the first two figures are vices, the third virtue.