Gower Bibliography

Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages.

Minnis, A. J. "Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages." London: Scolar Press, 1984 ISBN 0859676412

Review

Minnis succinctly puts his thesis thus: "Thirteenth-century schoolmen produced a critical vocabulary which enabled the literary features of Scriptural texts to be analsed thoroughly, and which encouraged the emergence in the fourteenth century of a more liberal attitude to classical poetry. Something of the new status which had been afforded to Scriptural poetry in particular and to the poetic and rhetorical modes employed throughout Scripture in general, seems to have 'rubbed off' on secular poetry" (p. 6). Minnis goes on to illustrate Gower's dependence on a literary theory propounded initially by Scriptural exegesis. He shows, first, how this theory helped to shape the Vox Clamantis (viewed as an example of prophetic writing in the 'forma prophetialis'), then discusses Gower's adaptation of the role of philosopher/teacher in the Confessio Amantis. In the CA, Amans/Gower and Gower the 'auctor' (which voice appears in the Latin marginalia) are used skillfully to place the theme of love firmly within an ethical context. [PN. Copyright the John Gower Society. JGN 3.2]

Item Type:Book
Subjects:Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis

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