Chaucer's Agents: Cause and Representation in Chaucerian Narrative
Chaucer's Agents draws on medieval and modern theories of agency to provide fresh readings of the major Chaucerian texts. Collectively, those readings aim to illuminate Chaucer's responses to two greta problems of agency: the degree to which human beings and forces qualify as agents, and the equal reference of "agent" to initiators and instruments. Each chapter surveys medieval conceptions of the agency in question-- allegorical Realities, intelligent animals, pagan gods, women, and the author--and then follows that kind of agent through representative Chaucerian texts. Readers have long recognized Chaucer's interest in questions of causation; Van Dyke shows that his answers to those questions shape, even constitute, his narratives. --Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
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acknowledges action acts agency agent allegory animals appears argue becomes begins birds Book calls Canterbury cause chapter characters Chaucer Chaucerian Christian citing claim course Criseyde Criseyde's critics crow cultural defined desire discuss divine dream edited effect English fact Fame female fictional forces forms gives gods hand History House human ideal implies individual instance intent John kind Knight's later Law's Tale less lines literary Literature Mars meaning Medieval merely Middle Ages Minnis misogyny moral move names narrative narrator natural notes Nun's object observes Oxford pagan particular passage perhaps persona philosophers pilgrims poem poet Poetics political position present Prologue question readers reason refer regard representation represents responsibility rhetorical seems similarly social sometimes story Studies subjectivity suggests Tale texts Theory thing tion Troilus turns University University Press Venus vision voice Wife women writes
Page 73 - tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him.
Page 104 - Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, That swich a lewed mannes wit shal pace The wisdom of an heep of lerned men?
Page 129 - My cours, that hath so wyde for to turne, Hath moore power than woot any man. Myn is the drenchyng in the see so wan, Myn is the prison in the derke cote, Myn is the stranglyng and hangyng by the throte, The murmure, and the cherles rebellyng, The groynynge, and the pryvee empoysonyng.
Page 218 - Alias, of me, unto the worldes ende, Shal neyther ben ywriten nor ysonge No good word, for thise bokes wol me shende. O, rolled shal I ben on many a tonge!
Page 96 - Lo, swich it is for to be recchelees, And necligent, and truste on flaterye. But ye that holden this tale a folye, As of a fox, or of a cok and hen, Taketh the moralitee, good men.
Page 208 - O swete, as evere mot I gon, Now be ye kaught, now is ther but we tweyne! Now yeldeth yow, for other bote is non!
Page 34 - And therfore every gentil wight I preye, For Goddes love, demeth nat that I seye Of yvel entente, but for I moot reherce Hir tales alle, be they bettre or werse, Or elles falsen som of my mateere.
Page 110 - God, and could not out of the good things that are seen, know him that is : neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster ; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.
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