CANTERBURY TALES--THE TALE OF SIR THOPAS  

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

 

612. BURROW, J.A. "Chaucer's Sir Thopas and La Prise de Nuevile." Yearbook of English Studies 14 (1984):44-55. Reprinted in English Satire and the Satiric Tradition, ed. by Claude Rawson (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984), pp. 44-55.

Compares Chaucer's Sir Thopas to the thirteenth-century La Prise de Nuevile, a satire of Flemish weavers which burlesques the chanson de geste. The similarities of technique and detail between the two suggest that even if Chaucer did not know the Prise, he was aware of the parodic tradition of the poem.

613. BURROW, J.A. "Sir Thopas: An Agony in Three Fits." Review of English Studies 22 (1971):54-58.

Three manuscript divisions of Sir Thopas (not indicated in modern editions) mark a "principle of progressive diminution." The number of stanzas in each fit (18, 9, 4 1/2) and the narrative materials in these fits contract proportionately "towards nothingness," suggesting a numerological joke evident to sophisticated members of Chaucer's audience.

614. BURROW, J.A "Sir Thopas in the Sixteenth Century." In Middle English Studies: Presented to Norman Davis in Honour of his Seventieth Birthday. Edited by Douglas Gray and E.G. Stanley. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983, pp. 69-91.

Surveys the literary allusions to Sir Thopas in the sixteenth century, noting its consistent associatiion with balladry and rusticity, and gauging degrees of sensitivity to its humor. Considers references by Dunbar, Skelton, Wyatt, Puttenham, Warton, Drayton, Spenser, Lyly, and Shakespeare.

615. CONLEY, JOHN. "The Peculiar Name 'Thopas'." Studies in Philology 73 (1976):42-61.

Explores the possible medieval associations of the name "Thopas" by investigating lapidaries, biblical commentaries, and heraldic sources. Denies editorial association of the name with chastity and suggests instead a generalized, ironic meaning of excellence.

616. GAYLORD, ALAN T. "Chaucer's Dainty 'Dogerel': The 'Elvyssh' Prosody of Sir Thopas." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 1 (1979):83-104.

Surveys the prosodic delights of Sir Thopas and argues that, far from being a piece of weak verse as the Host suggests, or mere parody, it is a work of substantial virtuosity which exposes "romance pretensions" and underscores the artistry of Chaucer's more typical verse.

617. WOOD, CHAUNCEY. "Chaucer and Sir Thopas: Irony and Concupiscence." Texas Studies in Language and Literature 14 (1972):389-403.

Identifies the sexual undertones of Tale of Sir Thopas and argues that the portrait of Chaucer in the Thopas prologue depicts a concupiscent man, citing parallels to Dante's Commedia and imagery of hares and elves. The Host interrupts Chaucer's tale because the tale does not manifest the sexuality the Host expects from the teller.

See also entries 126, 136, 243, 252, 272, 343, 379.

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