Memory and Confession in Middle English Literature

  • Kisha G. Tracy

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Kisha G. Tracy
    Pages 1-5
  3. Kisha G. Tracy
    Pages 115-117
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 119-123

About this book


This book argues that the traditional relationship between the act of confessing and the act of remembering is manifested through the widespread juxtaposition of confession and memory in Middle English literary texts and, furthermore, that this concept permeates other manifestations of memory as written by authors in a variety of genres. This study, through the framework of confession, identifies moments of recollection within the texts of four major Middle English authors – Langland, Chaucer, Gower, and the Gawain-Poet – and demonstrates that these authors deliberately employed the devices of recollection and forgetfulness in order to indicate changes or the lack thereof, both in conduct and in mindset, in their narrative subjects.

 Memory and Confession in Middle English Literature explores memory’s connection to confession along with the recurring textual awareness of confession’s ability to transform the soul; demonstrating that memory and recollection is used in medieval literature to emphasize emotional and behavioral change. 


Middle English Medieval Literature Langland Chaucer Memory Studies

Authors and affiliations

  • Kisha G. Tracy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English StudiesFitchburg State UniversityFitchburgUSA

Bibliographic information