By Bernard Felix Huppe
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Extra resources for A Reading of the Canterbury Tales
The next such reminder is an approving comment on the ambitions of the guildsmen's wives: And elles certeyn were they to blame. It is ful fair to been ycleped "madame," And goon to vigilies al bifore, And have a mantel roialliche ybore. (375378) Obviously "Chaucer" approves of the simple pleasures of worldly prosperity! Next, the "I" reports on the prowess of their Cook, but with shattering matter-of-factness and insensitivity: Page 23 But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, That on his shyne a mormal hadde he.
His means of achieving the valid end of Christian literature might be most varied. Chaucer at the end of the Canterbury Tales, when he "takes his leave," quotes St. " In this statement Chaucer echoes the Pauline-Augustinian definition of Christian literature, that whatever the surface, the inner meaning of literature must be in accord with Christian truth. But such a theory, with nothing else, would seem to be a narrow, literary blind alley, remote from the earthy, human abundance of the Canterbury Tales.
Disregarding the minor, occasional reminders of the "I""But, sooth to seyn, I noot how men hym calle," (284) "Of his array telle I no lenger tale,"(330) the narrator's interjections are few. His tone is, on the whole, one of impersonal reporting, but this general tone is interrupted effectively by reminders of the personality of the reporter. The next such reminder is an approving comment on the ambitions of the guildsmen's wives: And elles certeyn were they to blame. It is ful fair to been ycleped "madame," And goon to vigilies al bifore, And have a mantel roialliche ybore.
A Reading of the Canterbury Tales by Bernard Felix Huppe