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Chaucer Part 2

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Stephanie Womick

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Chaucer Part 2

Background for the Nun's Priest's Tale Beast Fable Romance A literary genre introduced to England from France, based around love and adventure.
Courtly love is a literary mode that explores a model of romantic relationship, in which a chivalrous, love-sick knight is inspired to perform feats of greatness by his desire to please his lady love.
In literature (not real life) romantic relationships supplant and mimic the Old English relationships between lord and thane.
The tone is usually elevated and melodramatic. Here is an example from Le Roman de Tristran (pg. 136):
"At this Tristran feels such pain that he has never had greater nor ever will, and he turns his face to the wall and says: 'God save Ysolt and me! Since you will not come to me I must die for your love. I can hold on to life no longer. I die for you, Ysolt, dear love! You have no pity for my sufferings, but you will have sorrow of my death. It is a great solace to me that you will have pity for my death.' Three times did he say 'Dearest Ysolt.' At the fourth he rendered up his spirit." In what ways does the tale satirize romances of courtly love? A prose or verse fable with animals acting out human behavior, feelings, and motives. A fable teaches a lesson or a moral. How are women depicted in the story? Are they generally respected, or the objects of satire? Compare Pertelote with the women mentioned in the General Prologue: the Prioress, the Wife of Bath, the Guildsmen's wives. Chauntecleer quotes a Latin proverb to Pertelote: "Mulier est hominis confusio" and mistranslates it as "Womann is mannes joye and al his blis" (lines 344, 346). The more correct translation is "Woman is man's ruination." To what extent is either or both translations demonstrated in the story? Consider the teller of the tale: the Priest is the only male at the convent, and he is traveling with the Prioress. Does the story offer an ironic commentary on the Priest's situation? Connections to the Prioress? What is the moral of the Nun's Priest's Tale? Is there more than one? Translation Chaucer is deliberately choosing his language in this story to match the content--French terms for a French-origin literary genre.
As we discussed about Heaney's translation of Beowulf, modern translators attempt to maintain the original work's meaning and literary devices (such as alliteration or rhyme), while making the reading experience more accessible for modern readers.
Choose one or two sentences from the Tale to translate into modern English; pay attention to the types of words you are using and the literary devices in the text. The Priest says,
"Now every wis man lat him herkne me:/
This storye is also trewe, I undertake,/
As is the book of Launcelot de Lake,/
That wommen holde in ful greet reverence"
What is his meaning here? Who or what are being satirized? Does this give us a clue in understanding the Priest's purpose in telling the story? The Chaucer Debates I'm so
misunderstood. Chaucer is a dead, rich, white guy who
supports the authority of the upper class. Chaucer has a more egalitarian view of the class structure. Chaucer supports strong female characters. Chaucer is a misogynist. Chaucer is a supporter of the Catholic church Chaucer hates the Catholic church.
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