Download Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales: A Short Introduction by John C. Hirsh PDF

By John C. Hirsh

This concise and vigorous survey introduces scholars without earlier wisdom to Chaucer, and especially to the 'Canterbury Tales'. Written in an invitingly inclusive but intellectually subtle kind, it offers crucial proof in regards to the poet, together with a biography and comic strip of his significant works, in addition to providing a framework for pondering creatively approximately his writing. Chapters concentration upon and advertise an engaged analyzing of the 'Canterbury Tales', introducing earlier scholarly opinion as important. John Hirsh encourages the scholar to learn the paintings much less by way of literary realism, with a spotlight upon person pilgrims and how they react to one another, than as a socially developed creation during which the folks and the needs of the pilgrims are discovered by means of a chain of thought of structures which point out either authorial which means and cultural context. Readers additionally achieve a feeling of Chaucer's different works, for instance why his translation of Boethius used to be very important, and what the history was once to works reminiscent of 'Troilus and Criseyde', the 'Book of the Duchess', and the 'Parliament of Fowls'. attention of issues akin to gender crosses over a variety of chapters. The e-book presents the fitting relief to realizing and appreciating Geoffrey Chaucer and his works.

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Additional resources for Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales: A Short Introduction (Blackwell Introductions to Literature)

Sample text

Trust no man but me,” he ironically insists, knowing that we do, and won’t. But he does not abandon his interest, his concern, for women, and will return to these themes repeatedly throughout the Canterbury Tales, as we shall see. We do not know exactly when Chaucer began to organize the Canterbury Tales, but it was probably sometime after 1387, after, that is, the death of his wife, and possibly after 1389, when Richard II had effectively regained his throne, the divisions among the lords opposing him having given him some breathing room, if only for a time.

But his skill and success in battle, undertaking and storm (“Tough he was, and prudent in what he did”), his practiced seamanship, his easy conscience, the apparent nonchalance with which he drowns his captives (“By water he sent them home to every land”), all point to a more able and powerful character than the opening lines suggest. The references to Finisterre and to Brittany point towards Hawley, whose adventures thereabouts were famous, though some scholars believe that the actual identity of Fynystere remains in doubt.

There are thus indications that in the 1390s his reputation was becoming both broad and deep, at least among those who cared for English poetry. It was during this period that the English crown left Richard II’s head for that of Henry IV, however, and the change had implications even for an aging and esteemed court poet. In fact, the difficulty he had in actually getting paid after Henry had taken the throne may offer a further indication of his status. It is not unheard of for new administrations to be quicker in promising money than actually disbursing funds, and it is certainly possible that, in spite of 22 Who Was Geoffrey Chaucer?

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