Monday, March 9, 2009

1300 to 1399: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde to the "Miller's Tale"

Chaucer. British. 1385. Poetry. Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer’s version has considerable individual characterization and humor.

Chaucer. British. 1386. Poetry. The Legend of Good Women. Stories about women who suffered and died because they were faithful in love while the men were treacherous.

Chaucer. British. 1387-1400. Tales. The Canterbury Tales. April pilgrimage to Becket’s shrine. 30 pilgrims. Varying classes, occupations. Two stories going, two coming back. 24 tales completed with prologue. Style matches the teller; interaction of characters. Interludes.

Chaucer. Canterbury Tales. “Knight’s Tale.” Palamon, Arcite, and Emily. Arcite wins battle, but dies, leaving Palamon to wed the lady.

Chaucer. Canterbury Tales. “Miller’s Tale.” Nicholas convinces John, the miller, that the second flood is coming. John the miller suspends three tubs from the ceiling. Alison offers her rump for Absolon to kiss. Absolon returns with a red-hot poker, scorches Nicholas’s substitute rump. Nicholas yells for water. John thinks the flood has come, cuts loose his tub, which comes crashing to the ground.

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