‘ Betwixen hem was maad anon the bonde that highte matrimoigne’- Chaucer, Knights Tale- Riverside Edition- Discuss how marriage is presented within Fragment A.
‘ This love halt togidres peples joined with a holy boond, and kyntteth sacrament of marryges of chaste loves: and love enditeth lawest treuth felawes’- Boethus II. M.8 Chaucers Translation.
Marriage as a topic can be seen as contributing to what we perceive to be the unique identity of each tale primarily because it is alluded to, in one way or another, in every tale of fragment A. In this essay I will discuss precisely how marriage is presented inter-textually and contextually within the Fragment. In particular I shall consider what precisely is meant by the notion of a ‘bonde’ with regards to ‘matrimoigne’, and what might be the ramifications of the way this ‘bonde’ may be presented in each individual tale.
In The Knights Tale Theseus (ostensibly)represents authority but also dominant masculinity -‘he was lord and gouvenor and in his tyme swich a conqueror’ tied to conventions of the literary ‘Chivalric’ which I discuss further below, and the philosophy of order, as when he embarks upon his eulogy to the acceptance of ones fate ‘
Marraige in Chaucers Canterbury Tales Fragment A
Emyle is a set of conventions, since beauty made particular by the weight of individual characteristics is irreconcilable with the general representation of the transcendent sanctified object the ‘Chivalric’ Romance would have its focus of adoration be: Alyson is all flesh and by the Millers Tales own internal standards all the better for it.
I dar wel sayn , if she hadde been a mous,
Set against this order was the ‘competing’ influence of the Fabliaux, an equally crafted Art Form, and One represented here by the Millers Tale. Helen Cooper talks in The Oxford Guide To the Canterbury Tales of the Fabliaux as ‘referring to the contemporary world’ to its ‘basic functions’, and of the Fabliaux as ‘burlesque parody’ of the elevated. The correspondingly similar structures of the Knights and Millers Tale, despite their ostensible differences, recall Professor E. Vinaves Introduction to his Works of Sir Thomas Malory(1947) when talks of the distinction between –plot- matiere, and presentation- sen. Works of Medieval Literature may have been constantly referential and in homage to their predecessors in ‘matiere- the framing plot structure and substance of the text, but the ‘sen- presentation, in essence meaning the intention behind the plot, the reason for which it was appropriated, differ. Superficially, as already stated, the tales contain similar plot concerns, most notably between the Knights Tale and the Millers, then, via the Millers Tale, the Reeves response which takes in those concerns of ‘wooing’ its precursor in turn appropriated from the Knights. However, it is in the differences, the deviations and subversions from the Knights Tales plot that the sense of ironic unity between the two texts is emphasised by implication, simultaneously changing the ‘sen’ of the structure and thus creating the sense of parody. The sense of ‘difference’ is made firstly upon the linguistic level of pure opposition (The Carpenters wife, and substitute Emilye figure is ‘sweet like meade’; a body ‘like a weasels’). Secondly it is made figuratively in terms of the union; the incongruity of the union. Thirdly, it is made upon the more abstract level: in the Millers tale there is no uniting sense of theory, it finds its resolution in ‘and Nicholas is scalded in the towel, this tale is doon, and god save all the rowle’, and its valediction in the epigrams of ‘pryvetee’. The Millers insistence that one should not pry into ones wives secrets is motivated the essentially social fear of cuckoldry, as opposed to its ‘message’ being informed by some esteemed text like the Consolation of Philosophy, or its pervading dynamic, its ‘sen’, being that of moral consolation or instruction.
Some topics in this essay:
The Canterbury Tales, The Reeve S Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Miller S Tale, Romance, Reeves, The Knight S Tale, Miller, Chaucer, Emily,
"This site is so helpful! You have opened my eyes to learning thank you!"
"I liked the information that you gave to me because it helped me do a analytical essay for this short story and i give it a 10/10 =) "
"This website is very helpful and informative and well worth it's money. Thanks!"
"I got the best grade I've ever gotten A+"
"This information was helpful and easy to find."
| | | | |