Clerical Expansion and Narrative Diminution in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
“Clerical Expansion and Narrative Diminution in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales” uncovers a self-reflexive Ovidian voice that emerges throughout the Canterbury Tales, a voice that proves to be attached to contemplative and academic milieus. Appropriating these milieus for his clerically trained characters, such as the Monk, as well as those who interact with clerics, such as the Wife of Bath, Chaucer depicts the competing perspectives of the traditional monastic commune and its secular counterpart in London guild communities. The resulting text both reproduces and dismantles narrative framing strategies that Chaucer learned from clerical commentaries, attempting to claim scholasticism and narrative from the scholars who inculcated him with these methodologies and to generate a subversive and polyvocalic frame narrative that accounts for burgeoning London culture.
KeywordsFrame Narrative Canterbury Tale Great Schism Poetic Voice Medieval Writer
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