Gower Bibliography

The Man of Law Tells his Tale

Theiner, Paul. "The Man of Law Tells his Tale." Studies in Medieval Culture 5 (1975), pp. 173-179.


Theiner compares Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale" with Gower's Tale of Constance, not to determine any specific influence or borrowing, but to argue that the apparent complexity of Chaucer's story is largely due to the Man of Law's method of "arranging the narrative in such a way as to remove or confuse the natural, unobtrusive explanations for the events in the story" (179). This obfuscation then allows the Man of Law – a would-be literary critic – to ask pedantic questions about motivation and causation and to offer longwinded explanations and digressions. This tendency, much like the Man of Law's predilection for including every possible genre of narrative in his tale, is absent from Gower's much more straightforward narrative. [CvD]

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

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