CANTERBURY TALES--THE PHYSICIAN AND HIS TALE 

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

 

556. AMOILS, E.R. "Fruitfulness and Sterility in the Physician's and Pardoner's Tales." English Studies in Africa 17 (1974):17-37.

Argues that "the theme of spiritual fertility and the related concept of the defeat of death" thematically weld the tales of the Physician and Pardoner. Parson's Tale and, an important source for the two linked tales, Roman de la rose, are indices to these themes.

557. BENSON, C. DAVID. "The Astrological Medicine of Chaucer's Physician and Nicholas of Lynn's Kalendarium." American Notes and Queries 22 (1984):62-66.

Demonstrates the acceptence of astrological medicine in Nicholas of Lynn's Kalendarium and suggests, therefore, that Chaucer's Physician follows "educated medical opinion of his day" when he consults the stars.

558. BROWN, EMERSON. "What is Chaucer Doing with the Physician and His Tale?" Philological Quarterly 60 (1981):129-49.

Confronts three aspects of Chaucer's Physician's Tale: its narrative "flaws" when compared to its analogues, its tale/teller relationship, and its place in the Canterbury sequence. Attributes the uncertain morality of the tale to the character of the Physician, a healer who has significant difficulty in identifying causes, linking the tale to those of the Franklin and Pardoner as the center of a sequential triad concerned with the causes of evil in the world.

559. FICHTE, JOERG O. Incident--History--Exemplum--Novelle: The Transformation of History in Chaucer's Physician's Tale." Florilegium 3 (1983):1-7.

Analyzes the dominant narrative features of Physician's Tale and its earlier analogues to argue that, within Canterbury Tales, the story is neither historical nor exemplary. Rather, its context, method, intention and reception define it as a novella, Chaucer's discovery of the literary genre associated with Boccaccio.

560. HAINES, R. MICHAEL. "Fortune, Nature, and Grace in Fragment C." Chaucer Review 10 (1976):220-35.

Identifies the thematic focus on the fortune-nature-grace topos in the Physician's and Pardoner's tales, suggesting that the focus was a conscious attempt by Chaucer to link the tales and align them with a similar concern in a section of Parson's Tale, unifying the Canterbury Tales.

561. LONGSWORTH, ROBERT. "The Doctor's Dilemma: A Comic View of the Physician's Tale." Criticism 13 (1971):223-33.

Reads Physician's Tale as a comic reflection of the Doctor's limited moral outlook. He attempts to lend moral credibility to his tale, but fails through disorganization, misinterpretation of the exemplum of Jephthah's daughter, and clumsy moralizing.

562. MANDEL, JEROME H. "Governance in the Physician's Tale." Chaucer Review 10 (1976):316-25.

Examines the "governor-governed relationship" in Physician's Tale, contrasting Apius, Virginius, and God in their respective roles as governors of the state, the family, and the cosmos. Ironically, Apius and Virginius err as governors, giving Virginia opportunity to submit to God.

563. MIDDLETON, ANNE. "The Physician's Tale and Love's Martyrs: 'Ensamples Mo Than Ten' as a Method in the Canterbury Tales." Chaucer Review 8 (1973):9-32.

Presents Physician's Tale in light of Chaucer's use of exemplary material, comparing the tale thematically to its sources and generically to Legend of Good Women, Clerk's Tale, Man of Law's Tale. In Physician's Tale, Chaucer undercuts facile exemplary conclusions to engage us in "the process of determining" the purpose of telling tales. Such engagement is the crowning achievement of Canterbury Tales.

564. RAMSEY, LEE C. "'The Sentence of It Sooth Is': Chaucer's Physician's Tale." Chaucer Review 6 (1972):185-97.

Approaches Physician's Tale as a piece of misapplied moralizing. As in other Chaucerian narratives, the implications of the tale escape its narrator, in this case ironically highlighting the theme of the impossibility of maintaining virtue in a world where the only defense against sin is knowledge.

565. ROBBINS, ROSSELL HOPE. "The Physician's Authorities." In Studies in Language and Literature in Honour of Margaret Schlauch. Edited by Mieczyslaw Brahmer, Stanislaw Helsztynski, and Julian Krzyzonowski. Warsaw: Polish Scientific Publishers, 1966. Reprint. New York: Russell & Russell, 1971, pp. 335-41.

Indicates the accuracy of Chaucer's list of medical authorities in his portrait of the Physician. Chaucer's catalog matches contemporary medical sources better than most commonplace lists.

566. ROWLAND, BERYL. "The Physician's 'Historial Thyng Notable' and the Man of Law." ELH 40 (1973):165-78.

Provides background to Chaucer's Man of Law, his Physician, and the tradition of animosity between their professions, demonstrating the appropriateness of Physician's Tale to its teller by identifying its anti-legal bias.

567. TROWER, KATHERINE B. "Spiritual Sickness in the Physician's and Pardoner's Tales: Thematic Unity in Fragment VI of the Canterbury Tales." American Benedictine Review 29 (1978):67-86.

Argues for a "symbolic" connection between the Physician and the Pardoner. Both are "potential healers'; both seek wealth "by capitalizing on human sickness"; and both tales "focus on the process of dying as a terminal rather than a transcendental event." Physician's Tale is a "prelude to the Pardoner's entire performance."

568. USSERY, HULING. Chaucer's Physician: Medicine and Literature in Fourteenth-Century England. Tulane Studies in English, no. 19. New Orleans: Tulane University, 1971, 158 pp.

Surveys historical records to explain the various branches of medical practice in Chaucer's age and to identify physicians contemporary with him. Describes Chaucer's Doctor of Physic as a "secular cleric," and suggests several possible real-life models. Argues that the Physician's character is more realistic and less ironic than often assumed, challenging interpretive criticism with social history. Reads Physician's Tale as a straightforward narrative, appropriate to its teller, especially in its morality and erudition.

569. WALLER, MARTHA S. "The Physician's Tale: Geoffrey Chaucer and Fray Juan Garcia de Castrojeriz." Speculum 51 (1976):292-306.

Suggests that Chaucer's Physician's Tale was influenced by Juan Garcia de Castrojeriz's Regimiento de Principis, a heavily glossed adaptation of Aegidius Romanus's De regime principium. Cites various parallels in concept and wording between the Spanish text and Chaucer's additions to Jean de Meun's tale of Virginia.

See also entries 169, 252, 319, 532.

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