CANTERBURY TALES--THE SUMMONER AND HIS TALE   

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

 

465. ADAMS, JOHN F. "The Structure of Irony in the Summoner's Tale." Essays in Criticism 12 (1962):126-32.

Unified theme and structure in the Summoner's Tale indicate criticism of fraternal sophistry and hypocritical preaching, realized ironically in a punning equation of preaching and flatulence and correlation of sophistry and the division of the fart.

466. ALFORD, JOHN A. "Scriptural Testament in the Canterbury Tales: The Letter Takes Revenge." In Scriptural Tradition in Chaucer. Edited by David Lyle Jeffrey. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984, pp. 197-203.

Demonstrates how, in Summoner's Tale, bluntly literal implications of Biblical texts requite the friar's consistent misinterpretation of the spiritual meaning of these texts. Spiritual and poetic justice combine to repay the friar's "glosyng."

467. CLARK, ROY PETER. "Doubting Thomas in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale." Chaucer Review 11 (1976):164-78.

Identifies a parody of the life of St. Thomas in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale, especially the "doubting Thomas" legend. Chaucer's frequent use of the name "Thomas," the incredulity of the old man, and significant word patterns in the groping scene comprise a parodic foil to the action of the tale.

468. FLEMING, JOHN V. "Anticlerical Satire as Theological Essay: Chaucer's Summoner's Tale." Thalia 6 (1983):5-22.

Exposes the topical, anti-fraternal satire of Summoner's Tale, examining its dominant concerns with penance and wrath. Throughout the tale, Friar John abuses his fraternal ideals and duties, ironically echoing details of contemporary fraternal debates. The Summoner's wrath makes him an ironic victim of this satire since the proper ideal of friar's was to save the children of wrath through confession, the sacrament John subverts.

469. HASELMAYER, LOUIS A. "The Apparitor and Chaucer's Summoner." Speculum 12 (1937):43-57.

Documents the nature and function of summoners in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries from contemporary historical and social records. Such evidence corroborates literary presentations of summoners in Chaucer, Langland, and others, showing that "by the end of the fourteenth century in England, the apparitors [summoners] had become a large and troublesome group of men who took advantage...of their office to prey upon the people."

470. LANCASHIRE, IAN. "Moses, Elijah and the Back Parts of God: Satiric Scatology in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale." Mosaic 14, no.3 (1981):17-30.

Extends the analyses of Levitan (entry 471) and Szittza (entry 473), reading the relationship between Thomas and Friar John in Summoner's Tale as a scatological parody of God's relations with Moses and Elijah, the purported ancestors of the fraternal orders. Thomas's gift to John parodies in complex fashion God's favors to the patriarchs.

471. LEVITAN, ALAN. "The Parody of Pentecost in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale." University of Toronto Quarterly 40 (1971):236-46.

Compares the iconography and exegesis of Pentecost used seriously in Dante's Paradiso and parodied in the divided fart at the end of Summoner's Tale, showing how Chaucer creates a "satiric commentary" on fraternal claims to be imitators of Christ's Apostles. Compare Lancashire and Szittya (entries 470 and 473).

472. PEARCY, ROY J. "Structural Models for the Fabliaux and the Summoner's Tale Analogues." Fabula 15 (1974):103-113.

Analyzes the morphology of several fabliaux, demonstrating that apparent analogues to the Shipman's Tale depend for their humor upon different logical disjunctions than does Chaucer's tale. Superficially, Le Vescie a Prestre and part of Til Eulenspiel are analogous to the tale, but the death bed anecdotes of Jean de Meun and another portion ofTil Eulenspiel better match its deep structure.

473. SZITTYA, PENN R. "The Friar as False Apostle: Antifraternal Exegesis and the Summoner's Tale." Studies in Philology 71 (1974):19-46.

Explicates the subtle antifraternalism of Summoner's Tale. A pattern of allusions to the Apostles anticipates the wheel scene, a parody of Pentecost. Biblical references throughout the tale recall the polemical theology used against the friars in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century debates. Compare Levitan and Lancashire (entries 471 and 470).

474. ZIETLOW, PAUL N. "In Defense of the Summoner." Chaucer Review 1 (1966):4-19.

Interprets Summoner's Tale as a successful quitting of the Friar and his tale, arguing that the Summoner recognizes the pretensions of his opponent and assaults them by parodying fraternal incoherence and garrulity. Contrasts the personalities and styles of the two pilgrims, characterizing the Summoner as openly and effectively wicked and the Friar as foolishly vulgar.

See also entries 169, 178, 252, 308, 313, 422, 429, 455, 461, 463, 464.

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