CANTERBURY TALES--THE FRANKLIN AND HIS TALE       

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

 

532. BEIDLER, PETER G. "The Pairing of the Franklin's Tale and the Physician's Tale." Chaucer Review 3 (1969):275-79.

Contrasts Dorigen and Virginia to suggest thematic opposition between the tales of the Franklin and the Physician and Chaucer's intentional pairing of the two.

533. CARRUTHERS, MARY J. "The Gentilesse of Chaucer's Franklin." Criticism 23 (1981):283-300.

Assesses Chaucer's Franklin against a backdrop of fourteenth-century social and literary conventions to discover that nostalgia is an essential aspect of the character. Sentimental "old-fashionedness" qualifies his moral idealism to produce typical Chaucerian ambiguity.

534. DAVID, ALFRED. "Sentimental Comedy in the Franklin's Tale." Annuale Mediaevale 6 (1965):19-27.

Assesses the gentility of the Franklin and his tale, noting the bourgeois characteristics of his portrait and contrasting the sentimental attitudes of his tale with the courtliness of the Knight's. Like his eighteenth-century literary descendants, also figures of sentiment, the Franklin is of the middle-class.

535. DUNCAN, CHARLES F., Jr. "'Straw for Youre Gentillesse': The Gentle Franklin's Interruption of the Squire." Chaucer Review 5 (1970):161-64.

Reads the Franklin's tactful interruption of the Squire and the Host's rude rejoinder as dramatic characterizations and evidence of Chaucer's investigation of complex social relations.

536. FRAZIER, J. TERRY. "The Digression on Marriage in the Franklin's Tale." South Atlantic Bulletin 43, no. 1 (1978):75-85.

Reads the Franklin's panegyric on marriage as a result of his digressive story-telling style, not as an integral part of the narrative. The discussion of marriage, Dorigen's complaint, and the Franklin's scattered comments on food help characterize him as "glib and sprightly and oriented toward the moment."

537. GOLDING, M.R. "The Importance of Keeping 'Trouthe' in The Franklin's Tale." Medium AEvum 39 (1970):306-12.

Describes the opposition and resolution of the dualistic notions of 'trouthe' in Franklin's Tale. Conventional courtly honor gives way to the more substantial proprieties of real life in the "curing" of Aurelius and the maturation of conjugal love between Arveragus and Dorigen.

538. HEYDON, PETER N. "Chaucer and the Sir Orfeo Prologue of the Auchinleck MS." Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters 51 (1966):529-45.

Assesses the relations between the opening of Franklin's Tale and the prologues to two lais of the Auchinleck manuscript, arguing that redactions of the now-lost prologue to Sir Orfeo indicate Orfeo was one of Chaucer's sources, influencing the character of the Franklin.

539. HUME, KATHRYN. "The Pagan Setting of the Franklin's Tale and the Sources of Dorigen's Cosmology." Studia Neophilologica 44 (1972):289-94.

Argues that Dorigen's complaint in Franklin's Tale is more Boethian than Christian and that the setting of the tale is non-Christian, indicating that Chaucer focused our attention on literary not moral concerns.

540. HUME, KATHRYN. "Why Chaucer Calls the Franklin's Tale a Breton Lai." Philological Quarterly 51 (1972):365-79.

Surveys the characteristic features of Breton lais, describing the expectations raised by such a label at the beginning of Franklin's Tale and arguing that Chaucer raised such expectations to "minimize the religious implications" of magic and marriage in the tale. Through the label Chaucer sought to focus attention on gentilesse without confusion from "bourgeois moral attitudes."

541. KEARNEY, A.M. "Truth and Illusion in the Franklin's Tale." Essays in Criticism 19 (1969):245-53.

Reads Franklin's Tale as Chaucer's oblique assertion of male sovereignty as a marital ideal, arguing that the tale depicts Arveragus as strong in comparsion to Dorigen, and that its plot challenges the illusory ideal of marital equality. See Dorothy Colmer's commentary, Essays in Criticism 20 (1970):375-80, and Kearney's response, Essays in Criticism 21 (1971):109-11.

542. KEE, KENNETH. "Illusion and Reality in Chaucer's Franklin's Tale." English Studies in Canada 1 (1975):1-12.

Gauges the dramatic effect of the Franklin's interruptions of his own tale, suggesting that his comments and qualifications, like his interruption of the Squire, reflect his desire to appear respectable and orthodox, characterizing him as one who pretends to chivalric virtues.

543. LANE, ROBERT. "The Franklin's Tale: Of Marriage and Meaning." In Portraits of Marriage in Literature. Edited by Anne C. Hargrove and Maurine Magliocco. Macomb: Western Illinois University, 1984, pp. 107-24.

Traces a thematic similarity between successful marriage and effective communication in Franklin's Tale, arguing that both depend upon shared perspective. Aurelius imposes his subjective perspective on Dorigen, obscuring meaning and challenging marriage; Arveragus fails to see Dorigen's dilemma from her point of view.

544. LUENGO, ANTHONY E. "Magic and Illusion in the Franklin's Tale." JEGP 77 (1978):1-16.

Provides historical and literary evidence that Chaucer and his audience would have recognized the magician's activities in Franklin's Tale as mere "stage magic," arguing therefore that the Franklin and the characters in his tale are ironically unable to separate appearance and reality.

545. MILLER, ROBERT P. "The Epicurean Homily on Marriage by Chaucer's Franklin." Mediaevalia 6 (1980):151-86.

Compares the Fanklin's "Epicurean" attitude towards marriage with its source in the Roman de la rose (Amis's advice on marriage) to show how Chaucer ironically indicates the weakness of the Franklin's position. Traditional assessments of Epicurean thought help identify the Franklin's sophistical espousal of "the appearance, rather than the essence, of peace and tranquility."

546. MILOSH, JOSEPH. "Chaucer's Too-Well Told Franklin's Tale: A Problem of Characterization." Wisconsin Studies in Literature 5 (1970):1-11.

Attributes critical dispute over Franklin's Tale to the occasional glimpses of rich characterization in the poem, glimpses unexpected in the demande d'amour genre which the poem exemplifies. Such characterization enriches the essentially simple plot.

547. PEARCY, ROY J. "Chaucer's Franklin and the Literary Vavasour." Chaucer Review 8 (1973):33-59.

Assesses Chaucer's Franklin in light of the literary/historical tradition of the vavasour, showing how the figure from romance informs the Franklin's exchanges with the Squire and Host, suggests the genre and theme of Franklin's Tale, and enables Chaucer to depict a complex set of contemporary social forces.

548. REISNER, THOMAS A., and REISNER, MARY ELLEN. " A British Analogue for the Rock-Motif in the Franklin's Tale." Studies in Philology 76 (1979):1-12.

Offers the life of Northumbrian St. Balred as an analogue, perhaps a source, for the motif of the removal the rocks in Chaucer's Franklin's Tale. Suggests how Chaucer might have had access to the saint's life.

549. ROBERTSON, D.W., Jr. "Chaucer's Franklin and His Tale." Costerus 1 (1974):1-26. Reprinted in Essays in Medieval Culture (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 273-90.

Explains the historical basis for Chaucer's association of his Franklin with his Sergeant at Law, exploring the suggestions of connivance between them. Assesses the "Epicurean marital arrangement" of Franklin's Tale, arguing that in the context of the hierarchical social relations of the time, the tale reflects illusion, absurdity, and false gentility.

550. SAUL, NIGEL. "The Social Status of Chaucer's Franklin: A Reconsideration." Medium AEvum 52 (1983):10-26.

Historical assessment of the meaning of "franklin," the social function of the class, and the nature of Chaucer's sketch of the Franklin demonstrate that Chaucer's portrait and tale reflect many features "uncharacteristic of the class" and thereby satirize its social pretensions.

551. SEVERS, J. BURKE. "Appropriateness of Character to Plot in the Fanklin's Tale." In Sudies in Language and Literature in Honour of Margaret Schlauch. Edited Mieczyslaw Brahmer, Stanislaw Helsztynski, and Julian Krzyzanowski. Warsaw: Polish Scientific Studies, 1966. Reprint. New York: Russell & Russell, 1971, pp. 385-96.

Argues that Chaucer's characters in Franklin's Tale motivate plot. Each of the four major characters differs from his or her vocational stereotype, in precisely the ways that produce the happy outcome. The tale is not simply a solution to the Marriage Argument, but a well-crafted extension of credible characters.

552. SPECHT, HENRIK. Chaucer's Franklin in the "Canterbury Tales": The Social and Literary Background of a Chaucerian Character. Publications of the Department of English, University of Copenhagen, no. 10. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1981, 206 pp.

Marshalls historical and literary evidence to demonstrate the typicality of Chaucer's Franklin and to establish the gentility of his class. Analyzes the portrait, prologue, and tale of the Franklin against information about the legal, manorial, and economic conditions of Chaucer's age. Explores the meaning of the term "franklin" and demonstrates how the details of Chaucer's characterization fit well with the political importance and high social standing accorded franklins in his day. Challenges critical interpretations of the Franklin as a social climber and reads his tale as an expression of genuine gentility. Suggests William de Spaygne as a possible real-life model for the Franklin.

553. STORM, MELVIN. "Chaucer's Franklin and Distraint of Knighthood." Chaucer Review 19 (1984):162-68.

Explicates the reference to twenty pounds in the Franklin's address to the Squire at the end of Squire's Tale, explaining how that amount, long associated with the enforced knighting of landowners (destraint), suggests "social mobility and the increasingly fiscal nature of social relationships."

554. TRAVERSI, DEREK. "The Franklin's Tale." In The Literary Imagination: Studies in Dante, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. Newark, N.J.: University of Delaware Press, 1982, pp. 87-119.

Reads Franklin's Tale as an ambiguous extension of the Marriage Argument wherein romantic setting and sensibility qualify the tale's presentation of marriage, reminding us that the ideals of gentility and generosity, however admirable and desirable, solve human problems no more surely than do "realistic" solutions such as the Wife of Bath's.

555. WHITE, GERTRUDE M. "The Franklin's Tale: Chaucer or the Critics." PMLA 89 (1974): 454-62.

Reads Franklin's Tale as a thematic opposite to Merchant's Tale. Contrasts between the tales clarify the Franklin's celebration of the power of truth, corroborated in Chaucer's lyrics: Truth, Gentilesse, and Lak of Stedfastnesse.

See also entries 79, 133, 137, 208, 217, 224, 244, 322, 490. For sources and analogues: 169, 252; relations to other tales: 323-28, 528-30, 558.

Table of Contents

Previous Section: Canterbury Tales--The Squire and his Tale

Next Section: Canterbury Tales--The Physician and his Tale