Ethics and Eventfulness in Middle English Literature

  • Authors
  • J. Allan Mitchell

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. J. Allan Mitchell
    Pages 1-9
  3. J. Allan Mitchell
    Pages 27-46
  4. J. Allan Mitchell
    Pages 87-109
  5. J. Allan Mitchell
    Pages 111-130
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 131-187

About this book


Medieval writers were fascinated by fortune and misfortune, yet the critical problems raised by such explorations have not been adequately theorized. Allan Mitchell invites us to consider these contingencies in relation to an "ethics of the event." His book examines how Middle English writers including Chaucer, Gower, Lydgate, and Malory treat unpredictable events such as sexual attraction, political disaster, social competition, traumatic accidents, and the textual condition itself - locating in fortune the very potentiality of ethical life. While earlier scholarship has detailed the iconography of Lady Fortune, this book alters and advances the conversation so that we see fortune less as a negative exemplum than as a positive sign of radical phenomena.


Chaucer concept English English literature ethics event fortune Geoffrey Chaucer literature love nature philosophy

Bibliographic information