Geoffrey Chaucer: A Sourcebook (Complete Critical Guide to by Gillian Rudd

By Gillian Rudd

This entire, hassle-free creation presents info on Chaucer's existence, contexts and works, additionally outlining significant severe perspectives and interpretations from preliminary book to the current.

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There is some debate over how much this was a purely literary code and how much it actually affected the behaviour of courtiers or those who aspired to polite living. What is not in doubt is its standing as a recognised convention underpinning much of the writing of Chaucer and his contemporaries. The first part of the French allegory, Le Roman de la Rose, written by Guillaume de Lorris (d. 1237) and translated by Chaucer, epitomises that code [62]. In this dream poem the lover (male) enters the Garden of Love, which is open only to those who are beautiful, wealthy and leisured.

Whatever his personal convictions, Chaucer was not a political or social poet in the way his contemporary William Langland was. While most 22 LIFE AND CONTEXTS classes are represented in Chaucer’s writing, all his characters are literary creations. As Coulton pointed out, ‘we believe in them conventionally, but know on reflection that they are there only to point an artistic contrast’, while Chaucer’s imagination was evidently caught by individuals and their quirks, ‘the multitude interested him comparatively little’ (Coulton 1908: 268).

GEOFFREY CHAUCER 23 All this activity did not ensure respect, of course. Rather the opposite. We can sub-divide the Church into secular clergy, (concerned with parish churches and ordained as members of the general Christian church) and the religious (monks, friars, canons or nuns who were members of particular religious orders and followed their rules). Monks were criticised for being too rich, too keen on good living and too willing to travel the country, away from their monastery or abbey, which was where they were supposed to be enclosed.

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