Gower Bibliography

Le Decasyllabe de John Gower ou Le Dernier Metre Anglo-Normand.

Dominique, Billy and Duffell, Martin J. "Le Decasyllabe de John Gower ou Le Dernier Metre Anglo-Normand." Revue de Linguistique Romane 69 (2005) 69 (2005), pp. 75-95. ISSN 0035-1458


The focus of this essay is Gower's decasyllables in CB and TraitM, building upon Macaulay's observation that Gower's meter appears to represent a blending of an English accentual measure with the French syllabic measure in the contemporary "vers de dix." Like Macaulay, the authors give close, in fact far more detailed, attention to Gower's frequent violation of the rules governing the use of the caesura in the French decasyllable, which they attribute to Gower's adoption of a predominantly accentual meter beginning with the octosyllables of both MO and CA. The iambic decasyllable of the later poems thus represents less an adaptation of the French "vers de dix" than an extension of the accentual meter from an 8-syllable to a l0-syllable line, following the example set by Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde, who followed in turn the example of Il Filostrato, which he discovered during his journey to Italy in 1378. Gower and Chaucer are depicted as joint experimenters in English metrics, Gower providing the example for Chaucer of the virtues of the regular accentual iambic line. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN XX]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Style, Rhetoric, and Versification

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