Gower Bibliography

O Political Gower

Ferster, Judith. "O Political Gower." Mediaevalia 16 (1993), pp. 33-53.


Takes a sophisticated approach to the questions of Gower's politics and his poetry. Citing the diversity of labels that have been attached to Gower's political views by modern scholars, she points out the difficulties posed by the rapidly shifting political winds of Gower's time, and she also distinguishes between modern attitudes towards absolute monarchy and those of Gower, who lived at a time when monarchy was the only form of government available. She is able nonetheless to find evidence of Gower's judgment of the king — in which he is subservient, but also to some degree subversive — in his treatment of the related issues of the king's need for advice and the people's role in government. She chooses most of her examples from Book 7 of CA. The very inclusion of this book in light of contemporary discussion of the behavior of the king must be seen as an attempt to comment on contemporary events, she argues. In the tales she examines, she finds evidence of Gower heightening the contemporary reference and commenting directly on both the king and his counselors. The final source of wise counsel for Gower is evidently the people themselves, not the vulgar mob whom he denounces in the first book of VC, but the vox populi when it speaks as a unified and unanimous voice. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 13.1]

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Guest issue edited by Robert F. Yeager.
Subjects:Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis

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