Chaucer's Dream Poetry: Sources and Analogues

Front Cover
Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1982 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
This volume makes available in translation the texts that lie behind Chaucer's dream poems - l>The Book of the Duchess, The Parliament of Fowls, The House of Fame/l> and l>Prologue to the Legend of Good Women/l>. Chaucer's dream poems are now being increasingly studied and appreciated. With their attractively bookish dreamer figure and their graceful use of conventions and traditions, they have their distinctive place in Chaucer's work. But the nodern reader of these medieval poems particularly needs a sense of their literary context in the tradition of comparable narrative poems - largely in OId French - which Chaucer knew and drew upon. None of these French poems has ever been made available in English translation before, and many of the texts are difficult to access, being available only in dated French scholarly editions. The authors represented are Froissart, Machaut and Deschamps, as well as some minor and anonymous poems, and there are also relevant translations from Cicero and Boccaccio. The book gives an idea of what Chaucer's sources were in themselves, and in what ways the English poet was inspired to use and go beyond them, and this presents a picture of the poet at work. Some of the French poems are translated carefully by Chaucer, while with other poems he is selective, interested in certain sections of his sources only. In further cases, the original material can be seen to have provided a more general point of departure for Chaucer's own developments on his work.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Guillaume de Machaut Le Dit de la Fonténne Amoureuse
26
Jean Froissait Le Parody s dAmours
41
Guillaume de Machaut Le Dit dou Lyon
65
Cicero The Dream ofScipio
73
Alanus de Insulis De Planctu Naturae extract
79
Jean de Condé La Messe des Oisiaus
104
Oton de Grandson Le Songe Saint Valentin
120
Jean Froissart Le Temple dHonneur
133
Guillaume de Machaut Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre extract
139
Guillaume de Machaut Le Dit de la Marguerite
145
Eustache Deschamps Le Lay de Franchise
152
Index of Personal Names
165
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1982)

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of England's greatest poets, was born in London about 1340, the son of a wine merchant and deputy to the king's butler and his wife Agnes. Not much is known of Chaucer's early life and education, other than he learned to read French, Latin, and Italian. His experiences as a civil servant and diplomat are said to have developed his fascination with people and his knowledge of English life. In 1359-1360 Chaucer traveled with King Edward III's army to France during the Hundred Years' War and was captured in Ardennes. He returned to England after the Treaty of Bretigny when the King paid his ransom. In 1366 he married Philippa Roet, one of Queen Philippa's ladies, who gave him two sons and two daughters. Chaucer remained in royal service traveling to Flanders, Italy, and Spain. These travels would all have a great influence on his work. His early writing was influenced by the French tradition of courtly love poetry, and his later work by the Italians, especially Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the form of English used from 1100 to about 1485. He is given the designation of the first English poet to use rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter and to compose successfully in the vernacular. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a collection of humorous, bawdy, and poignant stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. It is considered to be among the masterpieces of literature. His works also include The Book of the Duchess, inspired by the death of John Gaunt's first wife; House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, and The Legend of Good Women. Troilus and Criseyde, adapted from a love story by Boccaccio, is one of his greatest poems apart from The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer died in London on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in what is now called Poet's Corner.

Bibliographic information