Chaucer's Religious Tales

Chaucer's Religious Tales

Edited by C. David Benson, Elizabeth Robertson

Hardback
$99.00

D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

These thirteen essays by distinguished Chaucerians deal with the most neglected genre of the Canterbury Tales, the religious tales. Although the prose works are also discussed, the primary focus of the volume is on Chaucer's four poems in rhyme royal: the Clerk's Tale, the Man of Law's Tale, the Second Nun's Tale and the Prioress's Tale.
Almost all of Chaucer's tales are religious in some sense, but these four works deal specifically and deeply with faith and spiritual transcendence. They appeal to qualities, such as pathos, not now in critical fashion, but at the same time they seem extraordinarily contemporary in their special interest in women and feminist issues. The time is appropriate to recognise their importance in Chaucer's canon, for he is a religious poet as surely as he is a poet of comedy and secular love. These essays survey past criticism on the religious tales and offer new approaches.

Contributors: C. DAVID BENSON, ELIZABETH ROBINSON, DEREK PEARSALL, BARBARA NOLAN, ROBERT WORTH FRANK, LINDA GEORGIANNA, CHARLOTTE C. MORSE, A.S.G. EDWARDS, CAROLYN COLETTE, ELIZABETH D. KIRK, GEORGE R. KEISER, JANE COWGILL.

Details

November 1990
204 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Chaucer Studies
ISBN: 9780859913027
Format: Hardback
D.S.Brewer
BIC DSBB
BISAC LCO003000
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chaucer's Religious Tales: A Question of Genre
Chaucer's Tales of Transcendence: Rhyme Royal and Christian Prayer in the Canterbury Tales
Pathos in Chaucer's Religious Tales
The Protestant Chaucer
Critical Approaches to the Clerk's Tale
Critical Approaches to the Man of Law's Tale
Critical Approaches to the Prioress's Tale and the Second Nun's Tale
Nominalism and the Dynamics of the Clerk's Tale: Homo Viator as Woman
The Spiritual Heroism of Chaucer's Custance
Poetic Variety in the Man of Law's and the Clerk's Tales
Aspects of Female Piety in the Prioress's Tale
The Second Nun's Tale
Patterns of Feminine and Masculine Persuasion in the Melibee and the Parson's Tale

Reviews

`...a concerted, intelligent reappraisal of both the tales themselves and their reception by previous generations of critics....The collection's greatest strength is the amount and quality of attention it gives to the critical tradition surrounding Chaucer's religious tales...a rich, varied and interesting collection that should amply fulfil its announced purpose, stimulating further critical re-examinations of an unduly neglected group of Chaucer's tales. NOTES AND QUERIESCharacterized by a determination to do justice to a neglected area of Chaucer's work...throws up many insights. MLR`advance(s) our critical understanding of this group of tales by several degrees —inspiration for further study, exploration, and appreciation. STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER

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