Gower Bibliography

The Age of the Lover in Gower’s Confessio Amantis

Schueler, Donald G. "The Age of the Lover in Gower’s Confessio Amantis." Medium AEvum 36 (1967), pp. 152-158.


Schueler takes issue with the idea that "the advanced age of the Lover in the Confessio Amantis was a last-minute idea on Gower's part" (152). The opening lines of the Prologue are those of a "scholar-moralist, not a young lover" (153) and there are a number of passages that suggest that the narrator is no longer "freisshe" and "lusti" like the lady's other suitors. Gower also knew that his contemporary audience would identify the age of Amans with his own. Schueler adds that when we keep in mind the lover's age, a number of Gower's views on courtly love no longer seem haphazard or contradictory, but reveal Gower's "artistry" (152). For instance, Amans is unusual as a courtly lover because he desperately wants to be relieved from the service of love. In addition, Amans denounces chivalry (in Book 4) because he is too old to fight overseas. Yet while we are aware of Amans's old age, Gower "has saved the full impact of the revelation for the finale" (158). [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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