IMAGERY, ICONOGRAPHY, AND MYTHOGRAPHY
[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]
225. BOITANI, PIERO. "Chaucer's Temples of Venus." Studi Inglesi 2 (1975):9-31.
Surveys classical and medieval depictions of Venus's temple and documents the relation between Boccaccio's and Chaucer's uses of the tradition. Chaucer borrows from Teseide in Parliament of Fowls and Knight's Tale, yet in these and in House of Fame his Venus is, unlike Boccaccio's, typically medieval in her ambivalence (love and lust) and in the way she is modified by other figures like Nature, Fame, Mars, and Diana.
226. CHAMBERLAIN, DAVID. "Musical Signs and Symbols in Chaucer: Convention and Originality." In Signs and Symbols in Chaucer's Poetry. Edited by John P. Hermann and John J. Burke, Jr. University: University of Alabama Press, 1981, pp. 43-80.
Surveys Chaucer's use of musical images and references, organizing them according to four medieval musical traditions: philosophical, scriptural, poetic, and social. Within these, Chaucer employs a full range of musical signs, conventionally and with original irony. Discusses three eleaborate uses of music in detail: the description of Chauntecleer before Russell seizes him, the prevalence of "melodye" in Canterbury Tales, and the framing of the tales with opening images of earthly music and closing spiritual ones.
227. NEUSS, PAULA. "Images of Writing and the Book in Chaucer's Poetry." Review of English Studies 32 (1981):385-97.
Surveys Chaucer's poetic references to writing and to books, discovering that such references appear consistently in contexts that directly correlate writing with loving.
228. ORUCH, JACK B. "St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February." Speculum 56 (1981):534-65.
Surveys the medieval tradition of St. Valentine in order to establish the "probable state" of the understanding of the saint before Chaucer and to explain Chaucer's association of him with love poetry and springtime. Since no coherent tradition preceded Chaucer and since his contemporaries followed his lead, it seems likely that Chaucer is "the original mythmaker in this instance," inaugerating the Valentine-day tradition as we know it.
229. ROBERTSON, D.W., Jr. A Preface to Chaucer: Studies in Medieval Perspective. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962, 536 pp.
A source book for theory and practice of Patristic or exegetical criticism. Confronts issues such as medieval notions of beauty, nature, and love, and distinguishes them from post-Romantic modern attitudes. Argues that medieval aesthetic standards are hierarchical, where all good art leads to God. Sketches the principles of Biblical allegoresis common to Paul, Augustine, and other church fathers, and argues for its influence on poetry throughout the Middle Ages. Extended discussion of medieval visual iconography provides a handbook to medieval allegorical nonrepresentational imagery--graphic and literary alike. Examines Chaucer's poetry in light of the tradition of Jean de Meun, Andreas Capellanus, Alain de Lille, Boethius, and others. Reads each poet, Chaucer included, as ironic and allegorical, as purveyors of Christian truth, however secular their poetry appears to the twentieth-century reader. Assesses by these standards all of Chaucer's major works, but Troilus and Criseyde and the tales of the Knight, Miller, and Wife of Bath receive the most extended treatments. Includes 118 black and white illustrations of sculpture, architecture, and manuscript illumination which exemplify the allegorical and ironic aspects of medieval art.
230. ROWLAND, BERYL. Blind Beasts: Chaucer's Animal World. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1971, 223 pp.
Argues that animal imagery emblematically represents human foibles in Chaucer's poetry and that such imagery depends upon the medieval conception of man as the only rational animal. Documents the vices which individual beasts traditionally portrayed, surveying bestiaries and iconography to establish their representational value. Particularly in his mature works, Chaucer employs sophisticated networks of animal imagery to create thematic density and rich characterization. Considers all of Chaucer's references to animals, giving particular attention to his use of the boar, hare, wolf, horse, sheep, and dog.
231. WILKINS, NIGEL. Music in the Age of Chaucer. Chaucer Studies, no. 1. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer; Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1979, 188 pp.
Identifies Chaucer's images of music, singing, and musical instruments, considering their relations to contemporary practices and describing the English and Continental styles of fourteenth-century music. Includes individual chapters on the practice of minstrelsy and on contemporary musical instruments. Instruments are illustrated and sample compositions scored.
See also entries 47, 51, 224, 281, 313, 333, 359, 364, 380, 394, 487, 583, 594, 665, 676-77, 709, 717, 719, 722, 820, 822, 830, 835-36, 840, 869, 881. For mythography: 342, 355, 367, 502, 504, 509, 649, 849; iconography: 179, 275, 285, 409, 445, 451, 512, 515-16, 632, 649, 653, 808, 842, 866.
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