Summary Of St. James In The Clerk's Tale

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John McNamara, in his article, “Chaucer’s Use of Epistle of St. James in the Clerk’s Tale”, argues the use of St. James note how Walter and Griselda’s mirror St. James’ scriptures in his behavior with God. McNamara states that the use of St. James is included in The Clerk’s Tale when he mentions how, “Chaucer’s own suggestion to use the Epistle of St. James as a key to [The Clerk’s Tale] meaning.” McNamara suggests that The Clerk’s Tale is a teaching of the St. James scriptures that are embedded in this tale, and how it mirrors Walter’s and Griselda’s characters. As he continues, he writes how Chaucer referred to St. James to specify how he (St. James) applied his “patiently to adversity” to “prove his worth to God.” (185). This is what Griselda…show more content…
He further includes the opinion of a few critics as he points out how they view her role as “not patience but constancy.” (187). On the contrary, the author states, how St. James character is being perceived in Griselda’s role in The Clerk’s Tale since “St. James concept of patience” seems to embody Griselda’s character. He further states, how patience is a
“[women’s] proper response to trails of [her] faith, the manner in which [she] manifests [her] faith in works” (187). Here, McNamara gives us a definition of how patience is viewed in St. James’ notion and how Griselda’s existence appears to have been created through St. James scriptures.
The author continues to view Griselda as if she is mirroring or paralleling St. James relationship with God in the same relationship she is with her husband, Walter. As he argues that she is not constancy but more so “alliance” with her will to stay faithful to her husband, Walter (187). The point the author is trying to make is not to confuse the meaning of what these two terms (constancy vs. patience) convey and the slight differences it unfolds in her
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Her patience in her husband’s “inhuman tests” such as “taking away her children, presumably to have them murdered” (191) is part of the agreements she consented to before marrying him. McNamara notes that her goodness to stay in this patience stage also implies her as a superior human of holy divine among others people in her community (188). Therefore, when her husband is away people assess her as the person of divine power to bring disagreements and convert them into solutions with just her word (188). Griselda, thus, is the depicted as St. James in his will to obey all of what had him do and being put to test for any
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