CANTERBURY TALES--PILGRIMAGE                 

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

 

303. HOWARD, DONALD R. "Chaucer." In Writers and Pilgrims: Medieval Pilgrimage Narratives and Their Posterity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980, pp. 77- 105.

Compares Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to other medieval travel literature. With the exception of Mandeville's Travels, Chaucer's work is unique in this literature in its fictional character, its self-consciousness, and its manipulation of first-person point of view. Yet Chaucer "inherited" from travel literature a form that invites "vicarious participation and personal reaction from the reader."

304. KNAPP, DANIEL. "The Relyk of a Saint: A Gloss on Chaucer's Pilgrimage." ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 39 (1972):1-26.

Erasmus's Peregrinatio Religionis Ergo (c. 1514) and other near-contemporary accounts describe the Canterbury shrine before the Reformation, including such unsavory objects of veneration as Becket's hair breeches. In the Host's brutal rejection of the Pardoner, Chaucer alludes to such relics, suggesting the difference between religious and worldly pilgrimage, and supporting conjecture about the function of oppositions in the pilgrimage frame.

305. REISS, EDMUND. "The Pilgrimage Narrative and the Canterbury Tales." Studies in Philology 67 (1970):295-305.

Studies the tradition of pilgrimage as it encourages us to view Chaucer's pilgrimage as a search for understanding. The tale-tellers represent the "usual allegorical figures" of the tradition and the reader is the central Everyman-figure in pursuit of knowledge and spiritual transformation.

306. ZACHER, CHRISTIAN K. Curiosity and Pilgrimage: The Literature of Discovery in Fourteenth-Century England. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1976, 206 pp.

Defines the fourteenth-century moral status of curiositas and the social status of pilgrimage, describing their interrelation in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Richard de Bury's Philobiblon, and Mandeville's Travels. In each case, pilgrimage in associated with instability and inquisitiveness rather than spiritual rejection of the world, even though the pilgrimage theme is more conservative and less adventuresome in Canterbury Tales than the others. The Canterbury fellowship is based upon a "spiritually impertinent kind of sworn pact" rather than Christian fellowship, mirthful disorder rather than order. The theme of social stability recurs, manifested in marriage, friendship, and tale-telling. By the end of Manciple's Tale, however, all pacts are broken. Parson's Tale reasserts order by rejecting fables, suppressing contentious noise, and replacing social disorder with moral order.

See also entries 251, 254, 291, 320-21, 330, 338, 590, 677.

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