Gower Bibliography

"O Moral Gower": Chaucer's Dedication of Troilus and Criseyde.

Yeager, R.F. ""O Moral Gower": Chaucer's Dedication of Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer Review 19 (1984), pp. 87-99. ISSN 0009-2002


Since the Confessio Amantis was still unwritten when Chaucer completed his Troilus and Criseyde, the "moral Gower" mentioned in the closing stanzas could only have been known by his earlier (and entirely didactic) works in French and Latin. An examination of the opening lines of these poems shows that they too address some of the ideas about the use of pagan (classical) imagery so troublesome to Chaucer, and also preach an uncompromising unworldliness resembling Troilus's rejection of "lust" from the eighth sphere. In dedicating his poem to Gower, then, Chaucer knew what he was doing--a point driven home further by the absence of the word "moral" in English prior to this context. The term fits a Senecan Gower perfectly--the public persona he had established for himself by the early 1380's--and so helps us see the closing lines of Troilus as serious matter. [PN. Copyright the John Gower Society. JGN 4.2]

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

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata