Gower Bibliography

Chaucer's Most 'Gowerian' Tale

Wood, Chauncey. "Chaucer's Most 'Gowerian' Tale." In Chaucer and Gower: Difference, Mutuality, Exchange. Ed. Yeager, R.F.. ELS Monograph Series (51). Victoria, B.C.: English Literary Studies, 1991, pp. 75-84.


Argues for a broader view of "source" and "influence" than merely narrative borrowing, and urges us to consider more than merely the tales with identifiable analogues in assessing Chaucer's debt to Gower. By this standard, Chaucer's most "Gowerian" tale is the Parson's, with its emphasis on sin and the consequent implications on the thematic structure of the pilgrimage. While Chaucer emphasizes grace and repentance, however, Gower places all his emphasis on individual moral reform. The comparison thus reveals contrasts as well as similarities between the two poets, and the Parson's might in this sense be Chaucer's least "Gowerian" tale. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 11.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Influence and Later Allusion

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