“Unto Hir Lyves Ende”: Time and the Wife of Bath’s Remembered Bodies
In the previous two chapters, I have discussed visual judgment by ultimate (divine) and penultimate (human) audiences respectively. These audiences approach judgment from different perspectives because of their differing positions in time. Yet both these vantage points on the end of time—the penultimate point when judgment is still changeable, the ultimate point when judgment is final and irrevocable—presume the inevitability of an end, most often defined in Christian eschatological terms, at which all will be publicly revealed. The works that encompass such vantage points are teleological in the sense that they approach that end and the concomitant crystallization of Judgment inexorably—without delay or evasion.
KeywordsVisual Judgment External Audience Visual Imagination Canterbury Tale Physical Display
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- 3.Winthrop Wetherbee, Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales, Landmarks of World Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 84: “The Wife’s autobiographical prologue is largely a history of her body—its marketability, its desires, its aging, and the effects of its vicissitudes on her sense of self.”Google Scholar
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