Gower Bibliography

Gower and 'The Canterbury Tales': The Enticement to Fraud

Bertolet, Craig E. "Gower and 'The Canterbury Tales': The Enticement to Fraud." In Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower. Ed. Yeager, R. F., and Gastle, Brian W. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2011, pp. 136-42. ISBN 9781603290999


Bertolet compares treatments of fraud in three Canterbury tales with selections from Gower's Latin and French poems: the Miller's account of Nicholas's lie about a second Nowell's flood is juxtaposed with Gower's account of the Whisperer in "Vox Clamantis"(trans. Stockton, 216-19); the Reeve's characterization of Symkin as a cheater is studied next to a condensed criticism of fraud in the "Vox" (Stockton 214-16); and the Cook's Prologue and Tale is seen in the light of Gower's account of fraud in the "Mirour de l'Omme" (trans. Wilson, 330-49). These texts, together with summaries of actual contemporaneous cases tried before the court of the mayor and aldermen, testify to "a suspicion of commerce shared by writers and many ordinary Londoners" (137) in the period. [Kurt Olsson. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 31.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Vox Clamantis
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)

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