Gower Bibliography

Penitential Fictions, the Trial of Courtly Love, and the Emancipation of Story in the 'Legend of Good Women' and the 'Confessio Amantis'

Gould, Cynthia Marie. "Penitential Fictions, the Trial of Courtly Love, and the Emancipation of Story in the 'Legend of Good Women' and the 'Confessio Amantis'." PhD thesis, Northwestern University, 1994.

Review

"The penitential fictions that frame Chaucer's "Legend of Good Women" and Gower's "Confessio Amantis" ostensibly measure each poet's fidelity to the amorous ideology codified in courtly literature, but the real object of the poems' critique is the courtly code itself. This critique complicates the operation of the poems' framed narratives as simply moralized exempla; instead, they offer the reader a challenge in independent ethical interpretation. . . . In the Confessio Amantis, allegorical figures borrowed from orthodox scholastic cosmography masquerade as presiding deities of the conventional 'Court of Love' to engage Gower's protagonist is a penitential dialogue, with the covert purpose of challenging his amorous obsession. Gower's exemplary tales often supersede or contradict their stated amorous significations, serving instead as rich aesthetic reworkings of the poem's theological and political themes." [JGN 14.2]

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 55 (1995): 2403A.
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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