Chaucer and the City (Chaucer Studies) by Ardis Butterfield

By Ardis Butterfield

Literature of town and town in literature are subject matters of significant modern curiosity. This quantity complements our figuring out of Chaucer's iconic function as a London poet, defining the fashionable feel of London as a urban in historical past, steeped in its medieval prior. construction on contemporary paintings by way of historians on medieval London, in addition to sleek city concept, the essays handle the centrality of the town in Chaucer's paintings, and of Chaucer to a literature and a language of town. individuals discover the spatial quantity of the town, imaginatively and geographically; the various and occasionally violent relationships among groups, and using language to spot and communicate for groups; the worlds of trade, the aristocracy, legislations, and public order. a last part considers the longer historical past and reminiscence of the medieval urban past the devastations of the good fireplace and into the Victorian interval. Dr ARDIS BUTTERFIELD is Reader in English at collage collage London. individuals: ARDIS BUTTERFIELD, MARION TURNER, RUTH EVANS, BARBARA NOLAN, CHRISTOPHER CANNON, DEREK PEARSALL, HELEN COOPER, C. DAVID BENSON, ELLIOT KENDALL, JOHN SCATTERGOOD, PAUL DAVIS, HELEN PHILLIPS

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II, 1744–8) The tone of the last line and a half, with its short phrases, rhetorical question, lack of substance and repetition of individual words (‘he’, ‘she’) and of syntax (‘she, and she’; ‘he, and he’) mimics the sound of gossip itself. Throughout the poem, the characters are afraid of the words of their friends and neighbours who live in close, urban proximity to them, and this anxiety often determines the 37 For discussions of the court/city aspects of the two locations in the House of Fame see J.

50 This tale focuses on Prudence’s attempt to restrain Melibee’s will for revenge and violence, by deploying arguments about moneymaking and the advantages of peace.

As Barbara Nolan relates, Troilus is a brilliant account of the intrigues and machinations that lurk in the darker corners of urban space. She concentrates on his construction, not so much of a streetwalker’s view of the city, as of the poetics of dwelling inside, in the thick and often obscure and pressurised circumstances of daily domestic living. She sees ‘the built spaces the poet causes his characters to inhabit and transform’ to be ‘as insistently important to his fiction of Trojan daily life as are the characters themselves’.

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