Gower Bibliography

Gower's Use of the Enlarged Roman de Troie.

Hamilton, George L. "Gower's Use of the Enlarged Roman de Troie." PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 20.1 (1905), pp. 179-196.


Hamilton agrees with the work of E. T. Granz and C. H. Wager, which suggests that there exists an intermediary text between Benoît de Saint-Maure's Roman de Troie and two later translations: Konrad von Würzburg's Trojanerkrieg and the Middle English Seege of Troye. The later redactions include five episodes that differ substantially from Benoît in arrangement and wording. Of these five, the story of the youth of Achilles is also recounted by Gower, and Hamilton's purpose is to show that Gower, like Konrad von Würzburg (Hamilton's primary model for comparison), also used an "enlarged Roman" (180). In particular, Hamilton argues that Gower's tales of "Achilles's youthful training under Chiron, his life at the court of Lycomedes, and his discovery by Ulysses, are told in enough detail to show a common source more extensive than the Achilleis [Achilliad] of Statius" (181-82). In the process of enumerating the similarities between Konrad and Gower's accounts, Hamilton also points out some differences. For instance, when Gower's Achilles is advised by his mother Thetis (the same name is used by Konrad) that he should disguise himself as a woman, he does so "without protest, and without knowing the occasion" (188). Hamilton concludes by arguing that it is unlikely that Gower ever had "a first hand acquaintance" (196) with the Achilliad. Since it was a rare volume in medieval libraries, and since Gower show little or no acquaintance with the Thebaid (196), it is unlikely that he read Statius directly. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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