CANTERBURY TALES--THE TALE OF MELIBEE 

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

 

618. BORNSTEIN, DIANE. "Chaucer's Tale of Melibee as an Example of the style clergial." Chaucer Review 12 (1978):236-54.

Compares the prose style of Chaucer's Tale of Melibee to that of its French source, showing how Chaucer cultivated the style clergial (chancery style) of the original, especially in his use of "introductory phrases, doublets, subordinate clauses, and trailing sentence structures."

619. BRINTON, LAUREL J. "Chaucer's Tale of Melibee: A Reassessment." English Studies in Canada 10 (1984): 251-64.

Surveys criticism of Chaucer's Tale of Melibee and isolates three major concerns of the tale as it relates to its context. The tale clarifies the importance of reasonableness in worldly affairs, it reflects the themes of sovereignty and proper counsel found elsewhere in Canterbury Tales, and it "participates" in the interaction between "sentence" and "solaas" in the tales.

620. HOFFMAN, RICHARD L. "Chaucer's Melibee and Tales of Sondry Folk." Classica et Medievalia 30 (1969):552-77.

Surveys critical reaction to Tale of Melibee and extends Strohm's reading of the tale as a religious allegory (entry 624) and a key to the rest of Canterbury Tales. The name "Sophia" and Sophia's wounds recall Christ and the Crucifixion, while "Melibee" signifies all who drink too deeply of the honey of worldly pleasure. The many sententia of the tale particularize the message of the Crucifixion and link it allusively to the rest of the pilgrims. Includes a list of correspondences between Melibee and the other tales.

621. OWEN, CHARLES A., Jr. "The Tale of Melibee." Chaucer Review 7 (1973):267-80.

Explores how the Tale of Melibee sustains the thematic concern for good women found elsewhere in Chaucer's works and parallels the Parson's concern for forgiveness. The allegory of the tale never overwhelms its literal level even though its drama interacts with political, moral, and spiritual allegory.

622. PALOMO, DOLORES. "What Chaucer Really Did to Le Livre de Mellibee." Philological Quarterly 53 (1974):304-20.

Compares Tale of Melibee stylistically to its source, Renaud's Le livre de Mellibee, arguing for the ironic and dramatic value of Chaucer's version. By heightening the style of the piece beyond decorous limits, Chaucer effects a "very subtle stylistic parody" that helps to characterize its teller, contribute to the Marriage Argument, and give the Host "his comeuppance."

623. STILLWELL, GARDINER. "The Political Meaning of Chaucer's Tale of Melibee." Speculum 19 (1944):433-44.

Notes various parallels between Chaucer's Tale of Melibee and contemporary political events, associating Prudence with Philippa, Joan, and Anne; Melibee with Richard; and the pacifist message of the poem with the problem of the French wars.

624. STROHM, PAUL. "The Allegory of the Tale of Melibee." Chaucer Review 2 (1967):32-42.

Reads Tale of Melibee as an allegorical exhortation to spiritual passivity and submission to God, documenting the theological notion that self-defense against sin is spiritual vanity. Chaucer's sensitivity to this significance, which was available in his sources, is evident in his creation of the name "Sophia," meaning wisdom, for Melibee's daughter.

See also entries 163-64, 243, 252, 272, 328, 343, 447.

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