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Sites about The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

In this series of story-poems, Chaucer tells the tales of travellers making an April pilgrimage to Canterbury (England); the travellers pass the time by participating in a story-telling competition.

Characters: Innkeeper, Wife of Bath, Knight, Nun’s Priest, Miller, Pardoner, Franklin, Yeoman, and many others
Keywords: storytelling

Critical sites about The Canterbury Tales

“Abuse of Innocents” as a Theme in The Canterbury Tales: Dorigen as Instance
“Why is Dorigen such a wimp? Whay doesn’t she stand up for herself?”
Contains: Character Analysis,
Author: Lois Roney
From: In parentheses: Papers in Medieval Studies Volume I: May 1999, page 17
Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules as a Valentine Fable: The Subversive Poetics of Feminine Desire
“Chaucer’s initiation of St. Valentine’s Day as a celebration for love-birds of all species began a remarkable tradition of wide social and cultural impact still blooming today.”
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Jean E. Jost
From: In parentheses: Papers in Medieval Studies Volume I: May 1999, page 53
Keywords: Valentine’s Day
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Nominalism: A Preliminary Study
“The influence of nominalism upon the NPT is suggested by the discussion of free will and determinism by Pertelote and Chauntecleer, and by the celebrated lines in which the Nun’s Priest as narrator interrupts the story of chickens and fox to explicitly introduce the difficult philosophical problem of reconciling human free will with divine foreknowledge.”
Contains: Content Analysis,
Author: Furr, Grover C.
From: Literary Nominalism and the Theory of Rereading Late Medieval Texts: A New Research Paradigm 1995, 135-146.
Queer Performativity and the Natural in Chaucer’s Physician’s and Pardoner’s Tales
“However, if this essentializing connection between gender and narrative frame constitutes the coercive fantasmatic ideal of medieval dominant culture, the performativity inherent in its actual cultural instantiation guarantees that both masculine will and narrative authority remain far more anxious and unstable sites of meaning than their “nature” would appear to allow. In the remainder of this paper I want to focus on one such moment in the performativity of medieval gender difference: Fragment VI of the Canterbury Tales (in particular on the Physician’s tale, but with brief reference to the Pardoner and his tale). “
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Glenn Burger
Reading the Wife of Bath by the Light of Madonna or An Anachronistic Post-Modern Reading of a Post-Medieval Text
” But more significant, is how each defines her personal sovereignty in terms of sexual power and control. I am struck, too, how in both Truth or Dare and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale the narrative voice moves from a self-consciously fashioned confessionalism to the intimation of wish-fulfilling romance as Madonna performs her concert numbers and Alisoun tells her tale. To illustrate this, lets consider the significances of the black and white, and color sequences of Truth or Dare and what they may suggest about the Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale.”
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Susan K. Hagen
Semiotic Perception and the Problem of Chaucerian “Prejudice”
“Chaucer’s seemingly prejudicial attitudes have at turns puzzled, vexed, and even embarrassed twentieth century readers, especially those for whom the source of the poet’s greatness is arguably his understanding of the universal human condition in his fellow pilgrims both medieval and modern.”
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Marcus A. J. Smith and Julian N. Wasserman
From: In parentheses: Papers in Medieval Studies Volume I: May 1999, page 145
Visibility Politics in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale
“n Chaucer’s Knigtht’s Tale, a tale rich in overlays of visual narratives, one of the first accounts of the operations of the gaze effects a similar kind of inversion, one fully authorized by medieval amatory metaphysics.”
Contains: Character Analysis, Historical Context,
Author: Sarah Stanbury
“What Man Artow?” The Narrator as Writer and Pilgrim
“The little narrator in the Canterbury Tales is an enigma. He turns his searching gaze on everyone on the pilgrimage except himself, finishing up in a rush with “Ther was also a Reve, and a Millere, A Somnour, and a Pardoner also, A Maunciple, and myself — ther were namo” (542-4). Not a word about what he himself does for a living, or where he stands socially. To find out who he is and what he does, we must look for clues in the text.”
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Katharine M. Wilson
From: Chaucer’s Pilgrims: An Historical Guide to The Canterbury Tales Greenwood Press (1996
What’s Really Being Tested in “The Clerk’s Tale”?
“Because the Clerk makes particular reference to Petrarch’s moral application of the Griselda story as a justification for his own, we can begin our examination of the differences between the two accounts of her trials by acknowledging the context in which the Italian laureate’s translation of the Griselda story appears. Having been delighted and fascinated by the story, which he read as the final tale in Boccaccio’s Decameron, Petrarch, as he explains in a letter to Boccaccio, decided to translate it into Latin so that others, not familiar with Italian could, as he says, “be pleased with so charming a story” (138). It is clear that Petrarch’s audience is the learned men of his time (See Morse 74). He views Grisildis’s behavior in no way as a model for women.”
Contains: Content Analysis,
Author: Susan K. Hagen
Worlds Apart: Orientalism, Antifeminism, and Heresy in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale
“The reading I shall develop here also detects something new and initiatory about the Man of Law’s tale, but proceeds from my perception of a different kind of novelty in the narrative: the story of Custance presents Chaucer’s sole textual confrontation with medieval Christianity’s strongest religious rival, Islam, and it contains his only reference to the prophet Muhammad and to the Qur’an. My question from the start has been to interrogate why, at this particular juncture in the Canterbury Tales and nowhere else, Chaucer turns our attention to an alien faith, to a faraway place, to a distant time. “
Contains: Historical Context, Content Analysis,
Author: Susan Schibanoff
From: Exemplaria

Other (non-critical) sites about The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
This site, intended for the Chaucer beginner, gives historical background and context for each of the tales in The Canterbury Tales.
Contains: Historical Context,
Author: Jane Zatta
Author: Jane Zatta
The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations: Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Part of “The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations”, an online exhibit which “examines some of the high spots of the western literary canon. It explores the foundations of their iconographic standing, demonstrating how they arrive at this status through a variety of means, and not always on the basis of their literary worth. The exhibition gives special focus to how printers, publishers, editors, illustrators, and translators have used the icon of the classic text as a venue for their own agendas.”
Author: Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, Sarah McDanie
From: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Special Collections Library
Author: Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, Sarah McDanie
From: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Special Collections Library

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013