Gower Bibliography

The Expression 'as he which' in Gower's Confessio Amantis

Iwasaki, Haruo. "The Expression 'as he which' in Gower's Confessio Amantis." Geibun-Kenkyu Journal of Arts and Letters 58 (1990), pp. 231-40. ISSN 0435-1630


Iwasaki considers constructions such as the following one, chosen almost at random from among the many examples that he cites: "Bot al the Marche of thoccident / Governeth under his empire, / As he that was hol lord and Sire CA Prol. 720-22). Iwasaki provides a table showing the number of examples of each of the different variations on this structure (that/which/the which; different antecedent pronouns) in both Chaucer and Gower, and discusses some of the constraints on choice among the different possibilities. Gower uses the structure more frequently than Chaucer. Only rarely does it suggest comparison ("like one that") or mean "in the capacity or role of one that" as one might expect from modern English; it is usually, as Macaulay suggests (English Works 1.469), and as the example cited illustrates, the equivalent of a modern English participial phrase ("being lord and Sire"), and most often implies a causal relation to the main clause. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 12.1]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies

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