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Chaucer and Story Patterns in Middle English Literature
This course provides readers of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with a broader context of Chaucer’s life and times as well as the kind of literature that was being written in the Medieval period that may have inspired Chaucer when it came to writing the Canterbury Tales. We begin by exploring the idea of the story collection, why Chaucer chose this form for his Canterbury Tales, and how Chaucer treated the format differently from his contemporaries Boccaccio and Gower. After that, we look at more detail at some of the story types that Chaucer drew on when compiling the Canterbury Tales – looking in particular at romance, drama, and the fabliau.
The course begins by looking at Chaucer himself. While he is often seen as a unique figure in the literary scene of Medieval England, Chaucer was in fact just one of many important writers who were active at this time – including people such as William Langland and John Gower in England, and Petrarch, Dante, and Boccaccio from Italy. That said, Chaucer does seem to have been a particularly popular poet at this time – a combination, it is argued, of his own personal popularity and his accessible East Midlands dialect.
Cite this Lecture
Larrington, C. (2018, August 15). Chaucer and Story Patterns in Middle English Literature - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/chaucer-and-story-patterns-in-middle-english-literature/fabliau
Larrington, C. "Chaucer and Story Patterns in Middle English Literature – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/chaucer-and-story-patterns-in-middle-english-literature/fabliau
University of Oxford