DREAM POEMS                 

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

 

806. CLEMEN, WOLFGANG. Chaucer's Early Poetry. Translated by C.A.M. Sym. London: Methuen & Co., 1963, 224 pp.

A cogent introduction to Chaucer's apprenticeship to poetry, analyzing his devleopment through the early poems and the emergence of his individual voice. Genuine feeling modifies the elaborate conventions of Book of the Duchess, offering a means to control grief. In House of Fame, the association of dissimilar models and styles produces wry, ironic poetry intended for an audience of initiates. Parliament of Fowls welds satire and allegory, counterpointing them in a self-conscious display of varied images, styles, and characterizations. Imitation of French poetry and resistence to it are evident in An ABC, Complaint unto Pity, Complaint to his Lady, Complaint of Mars, and Anelida and Arcite.

807. HIEATT, CONSTANCE B. The Realism of Dream Vision: The Poetic Exploration of the Dream-Experience in Chaucer and His Contemporaries. De Proprietatibus Litteraum, Series Practica, no. 2. The Hague: Mouton, 1967, 117 pp.

Explores the psychological validity of Middle English dream poetry, comparing it to actual dreams, tracing its literary and philosophical roots, and examining its structure and allegory. In Chaucer's dream poems, the dream is "primarily a structural framework," even though he self-consciously exploits philosophy and psychology. Book of the Duchess, in contrast to Pearl, expresses human sympathy rather than transcendant theology through a more verisimilar dream frame. House of Fame refuses to be "pinned down," its dream "largely an excuse for fantastic situations." Parliament of Fowls uses the fantasy of dreams to rich thematic effect, and the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women explores the conventions of courtly poetry. Also examines the dreams of Piers Plowman, Parliament of the Three Ages, and Winner and Waster.

808. HUPPE, BERNARD F., and ROBERTSON, D.W., Jr. Fruyt and Chaf: Studies in Chaucer's Allegories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963, 165 pp.

Analyzes Book of the Duchess and Parliament of Fowls allegorically, reading them against a "set of symbolic referents" derived from the tradition of Bibical exegesis and patristic interpretation, and common to such thinkers and poets as Augustine, Hugh of St. Victor, Alanus de Insulis, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Chaucer. As well as an elegy for Blanche, Book of the Duchess is a Christian consolation, evident in the structural comparison of the narrator's and Alcyone's grief and in such significant allegorical constructs as the narrator's eight-year sickness, Christ as Physician and Hunter, and the complex interrelation of the poem's time, the ecclesiastical year, and the liturgical day. Parliament of Fowls explores the "vanity of the world" and those who love it, allegorically exalting philosophical detachment to earthly passion. The juxtaposition of the dream of Scipio, the allegorical garden, and the image of Nature as God's vice regent signal the poem's primary thematic focus on a Christian alternative to passion.

809. LAWLOR, JOHN. "The Earlier Poems." In Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Medieval Literature. Edited by D.S. Brewer. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons; University: University of Alabama Press, 1966. Reprint: Norwich: Nelson University Paperbacks, 1970, pp. 39-64.

Reads Book of the Duchess, House of Fame, Parliament of Fowls, Anelida and Arcite, and Complaint of Mars as similar in the ways they keep their audiences distant and in their "unerring eye for pretence." Similar stylistic devices such as dream frames, narrative naivete, and dramatic dialogue enable Chaucer to address an audience of social superiors with freedom.

810. WHITMAN, F[RANK] H. "Exegesis and Chaucer's Dream Visions." Chaucer Review 3 (1969):229-38.

Argues that Chaucer's dream visions are "essentially moral" in structure, combining the suggestiveness of enigmatic Macrobian dreams with exegetical response to classical literature, and reflecting the technique of moving from experience to written authority as a form of contemplation.

811. WINDEATT, BARRY. Chaucer's Dream Poetry: Sources and Analogues. Chaucer Studies, no. 7. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer; Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1982, 186 pp.

Translates into modern prose various sources and analogues of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess, Parliament of Fowls, House of Fame, and Prologue to the Legend of Good Women. Includes anonymous visions and love-question poems as well as complete or partial works by Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, Eustache Deschamps, Oton de Granson, Jean de Conde, Nicole de Margival, Boccaccio, Alain de Lille, and Cicero. A short introduction describes Chaucer's techniques of "co-ordinating" his sources to create new poetry.

812. WINNY, JAMES. Chaucer's Dream-Poems. London: Chatto & Windus; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 158 pp.

Introduces the literary tradition of dream visions and describes Macrobius's categories of dreams. Studies Book of the Duchess, House of Fame and Parliament of Fowls, concentrating upon the suggestive relations between the dream and frame and their combination of courtly sentiment with comic colloquialism. Book of the Duchess entails "implicit criticism" of courtly love, contrasting "romantic ideals" with the "demands of everyday life" embodied in the sentiments of the narrator. House of Fame attempts to represent the "nature and behaviour of the creative consciousness." Parliament of Fowls links the concerns and techniques of the earlier poems with the later sophistication of Canterbury Tales, exploring the courtly and colloquial aspects of love and art.

See also entries 1-3, 6, 10, 17, 57, 72, 78, 82, 131, 152, 211, 216, 249, 827, 850, 861, 890, 902.

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