CANTERBURY TALES--STYLE, RHETORIC, AND IMAGERY

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

276. BLOOMFIELD, MORTON W. "Authenticating Realism and the Realism of Chaucer." Thought 39 (1964):335-58.

Discusses several kinds of realism in the frame of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales--satiric realism, "circumstantial" realism of details, and especially "authenticating" realism which lends an "air of truth." Chaucer's manipulation of tone, detail, point of view, and narrative time produces an original interplay among various "realisms and unrealisms," in particular between the "authenticating" frame and the idealizing tales.

277. BOYD, HEATHER. "Fragment A of the Canterbury Tales: Character, Figure and Trope." English Studies in Africa 26 (1983):77-97.

Assesses the rhetorical adornment of the first three Canterbury tales, showing how the ordering and balancing figures of occupatio and anaphora fit the Neoplatonic philosophy of Knight's Tale, how adnominatio enables the Miller to invert this order rhetorically as well as structurally, and how the imagery of Reeve's Tale reduces the grandeur of Knight's Tale even further.

277A. COGHILL, NEVILL. "Chaucer's Narrative Art in the Canterbury Tales." In Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Middle English Literature. Edited by D.S. Brewer. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons; University: University of Alabama Press, 1966. Reprint. Norwich: Nelson's University Paperbacks, 1970, pp. 114-39.

Demonstrates the self-consciousness of Chaucer's "principles of short-storytelling," and exemplifies his dexterity with them. Discusses pace, theme, detailing, verbal precision, climax, and verisimilitude, demonstrating Chaucer's command of these techniques.

278. COURTNEY, NEIL. "Chaucer's Poetic Vision." Critical Review 8 (1965):129-40.

Investigates the relation between allegory and realism in the Canterbury Tales by assessing the function of the pilgrimage frame, explicating the opening lines of the General Prologue, and comparing the poetic modes of portrait and tale for four Pilgrims: Knight, Miller, Pardoner, and Parson.

279. FISHER, JOHN H. "The Three Styles of Fragment I of the Canterbury Tales." Chaucer Review 8 (1973):119-27.

Parallels the styles of the first three Canterbury tales with three styles in John of Garland's Poetria, defined by social class and appropriate speech. The courtly style of Knight's Tale, the bourgeois style of Miller's Tale, and the peasant's style of Reeve's Tale match the styles Garland distinguishes in his rectangular scheme which precedes his more familiar "wheel of Virgil."

280. HASKELL, ANN S. Essays on Chaucer's Saints. Studies in English Literature, no. 107. The Hague: Mouton, 1976, 83 pp.

Ten essays address many of the "referential saints" of Canterbury Tales, i.e., those direct or punning allusions by oath, character-name, or passing reference to individual saints which evoke the lore that surrounded the saint in Chaucer's day, and which carry ironic complement or contrast into Chaucer's context. The saints discussed include Madrian (Adrian) from the Monk's Prologue, Ronyon (Ronan) from the Pardoner's Prologue, Giles from the Canon's Yeomen's Tale, Loy from the Prioress's sketch, Thomas and Simon from the Summoner's Tale, Joce from the Wife of Bath's Prologue, and Nicholas as a character-name in the Miller's Tale and as an allusion in the Prioress's Tale.

281. HASKELL, ANN S. "The Golden Ambiguity of the Canterbury Tales." Erasmus Review 11, no. 1, (1971):1-9.

Exemplifies the variety of associations of gold and love in Canterbury Tales, suggesting that they constitute an "extended pun" which explores the earthly and spiritual significance of charity and cupidity.

282. JOSEPH, GERHARD. "Chaucerian 'Game'--'Ernest' and the 'Argument of Herbergage' in the Canterbury Tales." Chaucer Review 5 (1970):83-96.

Investigates Chaucer's manipulation of space in Canterbury Tales, contrasting the Knight's idea of human space as a prison with the sexual games in the confined spaces of Miller's and Reeve's fabliaux. Nun's Priest's Tale presents similar views of the widow's cottage and the barnyard, while the same contrast underlies the opposition of the Tabard Inn and Becket's tomb, the two poles of the Canterbury pilgrimage.

283. JUSTMAN, STEWART. "Literal and Symbolic in the Canterbury Tales." Chaucer Review 14 (1980):199-214.

Surveys examples of challenges to analogical thinking or philosophical realism in Canterbury Tales, isolating details and passages in which the literal overwhelms the figurative. Puns, irony, and impersonation counterfeit meaning, and fiction fails to transcend experience. The tales represent a "major break" with the dominant medieval view which is characterized by analogy, allegory, and symbol.

284. KNIGHT, STEPHEN. The Poetry of the "Canterbury Tales". Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1973, 214 pp.

Analyzes Chaucer's poetic achievement in Canterbury Tales, noting where his style serves simply to maintain varied, appealing narrative movement, and where he "deliberately implies meaning in the shape and tone of his poetry." Considers each tale sequentially, discussing imagery, shifts in level of style, rhetorical embellishment, and the effects of sound, syntax, and meter.

285. KOLVE. V.A. Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative: The First Five Canterbury Tales. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1984, 565 pp.

An iconographic reading of Chaucer's first five Canterbury tales, General Prologue excluded, supported by many illustrations from contemporary art. Theorizes that medieval memory was pictorial and that though we have few visual renderings of Chaucer's tales, he built them around central "narrative images" that impress themselves upon the memory and direct response to the tales. Images of amphitheater and prison-and-garden embody order in Knight's Tale; parody of Noah's Flood and characterization from the images of youth and nature as opponents of order reflect disorder in Miller's Tale. Death-as-tapster and unbridled horse images define the bleak, rebellious mood of Reeve's Tale. Images of the sea and the rudderless boat suggest Christian allegory in Man of Law's Tale, especially since it follows the "morality of trade" implied by Cook's Tale.

286. McCANN, GARTH A. "Chaucer's First Three Tales: Unity in Trinity." Bulletin of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association 27 (1973):10-16.

Compares the approaches to love presented in Knight's Tale, Miller's Tale and Reeve's Tale, arguing that the three comprise a "careful symmetry" wherein the first depicts the idealism of "pure love," and the last the realism of revenge and "utter satiety." Miller's Tale mediates between the two, presenting a variety of motives and qualified sexual satisfaction.

287. MIDDLETON, ANNE. "Chaucer's `New Men' and the Good of Literature in the Canterbury Tales." In Literature and Society: Selected papers from the English Institute, 1978. New series, no. 3. Edited by Edward W. Said. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980, pp. 15-56.

Argues that the performances of the Franklin, Man of Law, Monk, Clerk, and Squire reflect Chaucer's "ideal of vernacular eloquence," and suggest that for them the value of literature is its pleasure. Chaucer embodies his concern for a contemporary poetic in the tales of the "new men" who explore the technical virtuosity of courtly "making" and the noble counsel of ancient "poesye," producing an aesthetic of "endityng."

288. REISS, EDMUND. "Biblical Parody: Chaucer's 'Distortions' of Scripture." In Chaucer and the Scriptural Tradition. Edited by David Lyle Jeffrey. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984, pp. 47-61.

Surveys Chaucer's manipulation of Biblical reference and allusion, focussing upon how distortions of Biblical texts and narratives negatively characterize the narrators in the Canterbury tales of the Friar, Physician, Prioress, Man of Law, Merchant, Monk, and Summoner, and the prologues of the Wife of Bath and Pardoner.

289. ROBERTSON, D.W., Jr. "Some Disputed Chaucerian Terminology." Speculum 52 (1977):571-81. Reprinted in Essays in Medieval Culture (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 1980). pp. 291-301.

Clarifies the social rank and function of several of Chaucer's characters of humble class (Reeve, Plowman, Yeoman, and widow of Nun's Priest's Tale), arguing that their individual "moral qualities," not Chaucer's "class consciousness," characterize them in Canterbury Tales.

290. ROGERS, WILLIAM ELFORD. "Individualization of Language in the Canterbury Frame Story." Annuale Mediaevale 15 (1974):74-108.

Assesses the characteristic speech habits of the Canterbury pilgrims evident in the links among the tales, generalizing about their romance vocabulary, syntax, and figurative language, and focussing on the Reeve's imagery and the individuating "speech mannerisms" of the Host, Wife of Bath, and Pardoner. Appends a list of romance words used in each link, analyzed by speaker and statistically tabulated.

291. THOMPSON, CHARLOTTE. "Cosmic Allegory and Cosmic Error in the Frame of the Canterbury Tales." Pacific Coast Philology 18 (1983):77-83.

Assesses the allegorical implications of references to Aries and Libra at the beginning of the General Prologue and in the Parson's Prologue. Argues that they cannot be taken literally but that they help establish an allegory of the world's movement from creation to destruction and the Church's progress from establishment to fulfillment.

292. WOOD, CHAUNCEY. "Artistic Intention and Chaucer's Use of Scriptural Allusion." In Chaucer and Scriptural Tradition. Edited by David Lyle Jeffrey. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984, pp. 35-46.

Describes the range and variety of Biblical quotation and allusion in Chaucer's works, discussing uses of Biblical texts and narratives in the Canterbury tales of the Parson, Reeve, Summoner, and Miller, and the portraits of the Summoner and Physician.

See also entries 56, 131-42, 144-45, 153-56, 226, 229-31, 251, 258, 261, 311, 313, 336, 341, 379, 381, 388, 390, 453, 480, 640, 674, 686.

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