Gower Bibliography

The Poet in John Gower

Fison, Peter. "The Poet in John Gower." Essays in Criticism 8 (1958), pp. 16-26.


Fison suggests that Gower's CA lacks the kind of structural or allegorical complexity that "delights young Empsonians" (16), and as a result Gower is largely out of fashion today. Neither are Gower's politics particularly controversial, and he is at his most interesting when he depicts the psychology of love. Gower's style "tends to preserve a smoothness of approach by lines whose effects complement each other, so that the impression left by the whole exceeds that of the individual parts" (19). Gower reminds Fison most of Dryden, not only in his restrained use of language or his "architectonic sense" (23), but especially in way he concludes the CA with a "sad nobility" (23). Throughout the article, Fison compares Gower with Chaucer, and while the latter comes off as more varied and versatile, Gower is still praised for "his technical command of the language" (25). The result of Gower's measured style is a sense of universality, openness, and tolerance. [CvD]

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

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