Gower Bibliography

Some Comments on the Structure of John Gower's Confessio Amantis

Schueler, Donald G. "Some Comments on the Structure of John Gower's Confessio Amantis." In Explorations of Literature. Ed. Reck, Rima D. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1966, pp. 15-24.


Schueler suggests that Gower gave up the rigid organization of the first few books of the CA (esp. the five-part subdivisions of each sin) in order to create a more life-like, natural dialogue between Genius and Amans. Genius increasingly becomes "the archetype of the garrulous but wise pedant" (18) and so he is particularly given to long digressions. Genius is also no longer simply a priest of Venus. While this leads to some awkward moments in the poem, it gives Gower more scope to discuss all varieties of love as well as natural law. Although Genius is "long-winded and discursive . . . the characters in his tales never are" (21). Schueler sees Gower as "a master of the action type of story" (21). He further praises the poet for his skillful use of the octosyllabic couplet. Not only does Gower generally avoid a "jingling gait" (22), but he also manages to create a distinctive difference "between the plaintive, hurried measure of the Lover's voice and the deeper, slower voice of Genius" (22). [CvD]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Style, Rhetoric, and Versification
Confessio Amantis

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