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


307. ANDREAS, JAMES R. "The Rhetoric of Chaucerian Comedy: The Aristotelian Legacy." The Comparatist 8 (1984):56-66.

Surveys the comic elements of Canterbury Tales, identifying them in light of the comic theories of Aristotle, Bergson, Freud, and Bakhtin, and discussing such features as comedy's persuasive value, its realism and generality, and its associations with grotesquery, carnival, and sexuality.

308. BENSON, LARRY D., and ANDERSSON, THEODORE M., eds. The Literary Context of Chaucer's Fabliaux: Text and Translation. The Library of Literature. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971, 410 pp.

Anthologizes analogues to Chaucer's fabliaux and parallel materials from related genres that pertain to them, modernizing Middle English texts and printing foreign ones in both original language and translation. Dates of materials range from the second to the eighteenth centuries, but the majority of them come from 1300-1600, ennabling the reader to assess Chaucer's originality and influence. Brief headnotes introduce each text and its relation to Chaucer's work. Considerable attention given to the tales of the Miller, Reeve, Merchant, and Shipman; less to Friar, Summoner, and Manciple. See also Bryan and Dempster (entry 252).

309. COOKE, THOMAS D. "Chaucer's Fabliaux." In The Old French and Chaucerian Fabliaux: A Study of Their Comic Climax. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1978, pp. 170- 94.

Evaluates three Chaucerian fabliaux in the context of a study of the French fabliaux tradition: Shipman's Tale as similar to the French in its "economy and symmetry," Miller's Tale as the apex of the genre's development in its characterization of comic types and its fusion of sacred and profane, and Merchant's Tale as an ironic exploration beyond traditional fabliau conventions.

310. JORDAN, ROBERT M. "Chaucerian Romance?" Yale French Studies 51 (1974):223-34.

Considers the structural similarities of Chaucer's so-called romances, noting their variety and diversity, and concentrating on Wife of Bath's Tale. Such narratives share no identifiable subject matter and are additive rather than organic. Since most of Chaucer's narratives are so structured, the term "romance" has limited value.

311. KNOX, NORMAN. "The Satiric Pattern of the Canterbury Tales." In Six Satirists. Carnegie Series in English, no. 9. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1965, pp. 17-34.

Examines Canterbury Tales as a kind of "militant irony" with clear moral norms, suggesting that its satiric quality derives largely from its unfinished state. Documents the verbal and situational irony in the work, perceiving Chaucer's basic generosity of spirit in his variety and his willingness to accept contradiction as an aspect of the transcendence of his worldly perspective.

312. LEWIS, ROBERT ENZER. "The English Fabliau and Chaucer's the Miller's Tale." Modern Philology 79 (1982):241-55.

Sketches the tradition of the fabliau in England and examines parallels in style between Chaucer's Miller's Tale and early English fabliaux and fabliau-like poetry. Finds precedent for Chaucer's dextrous use of direct discourse to define character, his juxtaposing of courtly and colloquial language, and his parody of the language of the romances in Dame Sirith, Interludium de Clerico et Puella, and the Harley lyric, De Clerico et Puella.

313. RICHARDSON, JANETTE. Blameth Nat Me: A Study of Imagery in Chaucer's Fabliaux. Studies in English Literature, no. 58. The Hague: Mouton, 1970, 186 pp.

Defines imagery and traces its presence in medieval rhetorical theory, providing background to Chaucer's transformation of rhetorical tradition in the imagery of his fabliaux. Analyzes the fabliaux individually to show how imagery reacts with significant details to produce irony in Reeve's Tale, Shipman's Tale, and Merchant's Tale and how it ironically foreshadows events in the tales of the Friar, Summoner, and Miller. In each case, imagery helps to unify the individual tale and signal deviation from moral norms. Such sophisticated effects go well beyond the prescriptions of the rhetorical handbooks and testify to Chaucer's "deliberate, conscious artistry."

314. ROWLAND, BERYL. "What Chaucer Did to the Fabliau." Studia Neophilologica 51 (197):205-13.

Investigates Chaucer's modifications of the fabliau genre, suggesting that the "Gothic" juxtapositionings and intrusions in his fabliaux produce ironies and subtle sequences of associations not evident elsewhere in the genre.

315. RUGGIERS, PAUL G. "A Vocabulary for Chaucerian Comedy: A Preliminary Sketch." In Medieval Studies in Honor of Lillian Herlands Hornstein. Edited by Jess B. Bessinger and Robert R. Raymo. New York: New York University Press, 1976, pp. 193-225.

Anatomizes the comedy of plot and character in Chaucer's comic tales of Canterbury, following Aristotelian principles and the topics of Coislin, and dividing the tales into two groups: sexual comedies and "unmasking" comedies. Gauges the effect of various comedic elements like laughter and deception, and assesses the function of seriousness, implied value systems, character types, and the relative probability of action.

316. STROHM, PAUL. "Some Generic Distinctions in the Canterbury Tales." Modern Philology 68 (1971):321-28.

Explores the connotations of generic literary terminology applied by Chaucer to his literature. The broad term, "tale" indicates a degree of fictionality, while "story" implies historicity. "Fable," like "tale," suggests fiction, while "tretys" implies non-fiction.

See also entries 6, 10, 47, 212, 258, 261, 337, 402, 405, 415, 439, 450, 492, 497, 524, 540, 546, 559, 563, 604, 654, 679, 727. For fabliaux: 47, 56, 131, 138, 141, 254, 388, 398, 438, 472, 598.

Table of Contents

Previous Section: Canterbury Tales--Pigrimage

Next Section: Canterbury Tales--Moral Vision