CANTERBURY TALES--MORAL VISION                 

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

 

317. AMES, RUTH M. "Corn and Shrimps: Chaucer's Mockery of Religious Controversy." In The Late Middle Ages. Edited by Peter Cocozzella. Acta, no. 8. Binghamton: Center for Medieval & Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York, 1984, pp. 71-88.

Reads Chaucer's presentation of topics associated with Lollards--swearing, clerical celibacy, and predestination--as burlesque of contemporary disputes. Through the Host, Shipman, and Parson, and through Troilus's determinism, Chaucer "digs at the orthodox, parodies the heretics, and laughs at both."

318. AMES, RUTH M. "Prototype and Parody in Chaucerian Exegesis." In The Fourteenth Century. Edited by Paul Z. Szarmach and Bernard S. Levy. Acta, no. 4. Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1978, pp. 87-105.

Surveys Chaucer's use of Old Testament materials in the Canterbury Tales to assess his opinion of exegetical interpretation. He balances "popular vulgarization and learned allegorization," sanctioning neither wholeheartedly, and he consistently uses Old Testament "platitudes and stereotypes" for moral teaching.

319. BARTHOLOMEW, BARBARA. Fortuna and Natura: A Reading of Three Chaucerian Narratives. Studies in English Literature, no. 16. The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1966, 112 pp.

Studies Chaucer's use of Fortuna and Natura as "dynamic oppositites," a backdrop for the actions of his characters. Narratives with "strong Christian backgrounds" (Physician's and Clerk's tales) require that their characters transcend the malevolence of Fortuna and the "limited benevolence" of Natura through godlike love. In the dominantly Boethian Knight's Tale, the goddesses function as "the alternatives for human resolution," representing nature as life, proper love, and rationality, and fortune as death, courtly love, and passion.

320. PECK, RUSSELL A. "St. Paul and the Canterbury Tales." Mediaevalia 7 (1981):91-131. Revised slightly in Chaucer and the Scriptural Tradition, ed. by David Lyle Jeffrey (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984), pp. 143-70.

Suggests that Pauline imagery and allusion in Canterbury Tales help to structure and unify the work. Identifies Pauline concern with language, with proper use of time and with the vetus homo, arguing that these sustain a consistent focus on spiritual pilgrimage.

321. WOO, CONSTANCE, and MATTHEWS WILLIAM. "The Spiritual Purpose of the Canterbury Tales." Comitatus 1 (1970):85- 109.

Surveys the overt and covert "religious elements" of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, exploring its image of pilgrimage, the interrelations among the portraits and tales of the ecclesiastical pilgrims (especially Pardoner and Parson), and investigating its rich presentation of spiritual and secular love.

322. WOOLF, ROSEMARY. "Moral Chaucer and Kindly Gower." In J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller: Essays in Memorium. Edited by Mary Salu and Robert T. Farrell. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1979, pp. 221- 45.

Appraises Chaucer's "very fine analytical moral imagination" in comparison to John Gower's, demonstrating the moral complexity and subtlety of the tales of the Merchant, the Franklin, and the Wife of Bath. Where Gower's morality in Confessio Amantis is "flat" and "uncontroversial," Chaucer's complicates his works with ironic sub-texts and sympathy "for the sinner."

See also entries 1-3, 80, 155, 160, 190, 206, 253, 258, 289, 311. For morality and individual tales: 209, 261, 313, 394, 407, 507, 560, 621, 644, 674, 676-78, 686, 688. For morality and the pilgrimage frame: 251, 291, 305-06, 337.

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