Essays and Criticism

Essays and Criticism

oxford-guides-canterbury-tales
Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. By Helen Cooper. Oxford, 1989; 2nd ed. 1996. 439pp. A one-volume commentary on the Tales, with selected bibliography and judicious comments on recent criticism. This book is available from Amazon.

Daniel T. Kline
The Electronic Canterbury Tales
Although several sources of commentary are listed below, this is probably the most comprehensive, and because it is organized by tale, by far the most useful as well. Also includes links to texts and translations of each tale.

Harvard Chaucer Page
Articles Online
Articles and extracts from classic studies by Kittredge, Aers, Pearsall, Muscatine, and Donaldson.

Luminarium
Essays and Articles on Chaucer
Links to articles on Troilus and most of the Tales. Many of these have already appeared in print (e.g., pieces by D. R. Howard, C. Muscatine, and G. L. Kittredge). Also includes many student essays and projects, which are now labeled as such with an s. Comprehensive, well-maintained.

 

Susan K. Hagen, ORB Online Encyclopedia
Chaucer: A Guide to Online Resources
Chiefly remarkable for the original essays hosted at the site, including Hagen’s own piece on “Team Teaching Middle English Literature with Flannery O’Connor.”

Lee Patterson
Chaucer
Text of an introductory lecture on the Canterbury Tales, which argues that the political upheavals of the 1380s “shook Chaucer loose from an aristocratic culture that he was already finding less and less satisfactory as a context for both artistic production and for life.”

Stephen R. Reimer
Differentiating Chaucer and Lydgate
Abstract of a paper on methods for attributing MS. poems to Chaucer or Lydgate based on linguistic and stylistic properties.

Katharine M. Wilson
“What Man Artow?” The Narrator as Writer and Pilgrim
Essay, rpt. from Chaucer’s Pilgrims: An Historical Guide to The Canterbury Tales, ed. Laura and R. T. Lambdin (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996).

Grover C. Furr
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Nominalism: A Preliminary Study
Essay rpt. from Literary Nominalism and the Theory of Rereading Late Medieval Texts: A New Research Paradigm, ed. Richard J. Utz, Medieval Studies 5 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1995), 135-146.

R. A. Shoaf
Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word: Money, Images, and Reference in Late Medieval Poetry
Postprint (1995) of the author’s 1983 book.

Dave Clark
Reaping What Was Sown: Spenser, Chaucer, and the Plowman’s Tale
MA thesis on Chaucer in the renaissance.

Diane Thompson
Troilus Study Guide
Notes on Troilus and Troy, love (courtly and divine), Boethius, the main characters, the story, and Criseyde’s literary afterlife. Also includes a brief bibliography and suggested paper topics (labeled here “activities”).

Jewish Bulletin of Northern California
Antisemitism in the Prioress’ Tale
Describes debate arising from dramatic rendition of the tale produced by the Marin Center Showcase Theatre in Jan. 1996.

Peter M. W. Robinson
New methods of editing, exploring, and reading The Canterbury Tales
Talk at the conference ‘I nuovi orizzonti della filologia’, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, May 28 1998. Describes the methods, goals, and preliminary findings of the Canterbury Tales Project.

Richard Utz
Gender and Time in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Juxtaposing depictions of time and technical progress in architecture and painting with the uses of time in the Canterbury Tales, this essay argues that “Chaucer genders intraliterary constructions of time in close correspondence with extraliterary late medieval masculine perceptions” (RU).

ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
Lectures on Medieval Literature
“The anthology is still in development and will be, as long as interested scholars continue to submit lectures to be included…The lectures to be included should outline the general themes, concepts, and backgrounds pertaining to a particular literary text. In other words, what would you teach about this text in the classroom? All works…are peer-reviewed.”