Historians on Chaucer: The 'General Prologue' to the by Alastair Minnis, Stephen Rigby
By Alastair Minnis, Stephen Rigby
As literary students have lengthy insisted, an interdisciplinary technique is key if glossy readers are to make experience of works of medieval literature. particularly, instead of examining the works of medieval authors as addressing us around the centuries approximately a few undying or ahistorical 'human condition', critics from quite a lot of theoretical techniques have lately proven how the paintings of poets akin to Chaucer constituted engagements with the ability kin and social inequalities in their time. but, probably unusually, medieval historians have performed little half during this 'historical flip' within the learn of medieval literature. the purpose of this quantity is to permit historians who're specialists within the fields of financial, social, political, spiritual, and highbrow heritage the opportunity to interpret the most well-known works of center English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer's 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales, in its modern context. instead of resorting to conventional ancient makes an attempt to determine Chaucer's descriptions of the Canterbury pilgrims as rapid reflections of ancient truth or as snap shots of real-life humans whom Chaucer knew, the members to this quantity have sought to teach what interpretive frameworks have been to be had to Chaucer so as to make feel of truth and the way he tailored his literary and ideological inheritance on the way to interact with the controversies and conflicts of his personal day. starting with a survey of contemporary debates in regards to the social that means of Chaucer's paintings, the amount then discusses all the Canterbury pilgrims in flip. Historians on Chaucer will be of curiosity to all students and scholars of medieval tradition whether or not they are experts in literature or background
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Additional info for Historians on Chaucer: The 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales
31 (1996–7), pp. , 36 (2001–2), pp. 184–207, at 186. 76 Mann, Chaucer and Medieval Estates Satire, pp. 102–3, 180, 194, 197–201. See also Helen Phillips, An Introduction to the Canterbury Tales: Reading, Fiction, Context (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), pp. 25–6, 42–3. 22 / Stephen H. 77 If the conflicting viewpoints set out in Chaucer’s work and the open-ended nature of his text cast doubt on contemporary assumptions about moral and ideological unity as the basis of social cohesion and expose contemporary defences of the social order as partial, constructed and inadequate, it would seem, yet again, that his poetry should be understood as calling established orthodoxies into question.
62 Here the pilgrims’ story-telling contest is seen as reproducing, in microcosm, the social conflicts of late fourteenth-century England with the ruling ideology of the day being answered back by voices which normally lack authority. 63 Just as those who interpret Chaucer as being conservative in his social outlook attempt to show how his views were expressed through the use of particular literary techniques, such as irony, so those who see him as questioning traditional social morality also identify a unity of form and content in his work.
Reginald R. Sharpe (London: John Edward Francis, 1905), p. 24. 9 The doors to rooms above the city gates almost always faced into the city and, in the thirteenth century, Bishop Roger Niger had decreed that a house belonged to the parish in which its front door was situated, see Councils and Synods with Other Documents relating to the English Church, Volume 2, eds Frederick M. Powicke and Christopher R. Cheney (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 335. I am grateful to Professor Derek Keene for his learned assistance with this question.