Gower Bibliography

Color Expressions in Gower's Confessio Amantis

Yoshimuri, Koji. "Color Expressions in Gower's Confessio Amantis." The Review of Inquiry and Research (Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Osaka, Japan) 50 (1989), pp. 13-35.

Review

Yoshimuri, who has previously studied the color expressions in T&C and PP, here catalogues every reference to color in CA, and discusses Gower's use of color words, contrasting Gower's usage to Chaucer's in CT. His essay is divided into several sections, discussing in turn the frequency of color words (divided between chromatic and achromatic), "descriptive color expressions" (such as "the colour of the reyni Mone"), contrastive color expressions, repetitive color expressions ("rody and red"), color similes, the use of color symbolism, and the special case of "derk" and "liht." The results are not entirely predictable, and there is some interesting insight on almost every page, either on the contrast between Chaucer's and Gower's practice (Chaucer, not surprisingly, had a far larger vocabulary for color than Gower did, and also used far more figurative expressions; Gower's favorite color word was "green," while Chaucer's was "white"), on the limitations imposed by Middle English (and the evident lack of a word for either "pink" or "orange," for example), or on the semantic field of ordinary color expressions, including the words they are ordinarily used to modify and their metaphorical suggestiveness. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 9.2]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies
Confessio Amantis

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