Chaucer and Skelton

  • A. J. Gilbert


The variety of style in The Knight’s Tale makes a useful starting point for our inquiry. The poem shows Chaucer’s skill in handling all three traditional styles. First, we can begin with an example of high style:

To ransake in the taas of bodyes dede,

Hem for to strepe of harneys and of wede,

The pilours diden bisynesse and cure

After the bataille and disconfiture.

And so bifel that in the taas they founde,

Thurgh-girt with many a grevous blody wounde,

Two yonge knyghtes liggynge by and by,

Bothe in oon armes, wroght ful richely,

Of whiche two Arcita highte that oon,

And that oother knyght highte Palamon.

Nat fully quyke, ne fully dede they were,

But by hir cote-armures and by hir gere

The heraudes knewe hem best in special

As they that weren of the blood roial

Of Thebes, and of sustren two yborn.1


Classical Tradition Style Ideal Rhetorical Device Modern Reader Conventional Realism 
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Copyright information

© A. J. Gilbert 1979

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  • A. J. Gilbert

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