Gower Bibliography

Gather Ye Rosebuds: Gower's Comic Reply to Jean de Meun

Dean, James. "Gather Ye Rosebuds: Gower's Comic Reply to Jean de Meun." In John Gower: Recent Readings. Papers Presented at the Meetings of the John Gower Society at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 1983-88. Ed. Yeager, R.F.. Studies in Medfieval Culture (26). Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, 1989, pp. 21-37.


Argues that the conclusion of CA, in which Amans discovers that he is too old for Venus' service, derives much of its force from the contrast to the energetic allegorical consummation at the conclusion of RR, and thus should be seen at least in part as Gower's answer to Jean de Meun. Where Genius, in RR, urges Love's barons on by crying "Plow, for God's sake, my barons, plow," Gower's Venus reminds Amans that "mor behoveth to the plowh" than just his will alone; and instead of plucking the rose, as in RR, Amans discovers that Cupid plucks the arrow from his heart. Dean also examines Gower's use of the conventions and language of French courtly poetry, and shows how they are consistently subverted, sometimes ludicrously, by more colloquial Anglicisms and by the reality of Amans' condition. Gower has "modernized" Jean de Meun's conclusion in his poem. The result of his mixture of humor and pathos in these scenes is a "comedy more fitting for reflection than for unqualified mirth" (p. 34), and suggests an important statement on the human condition in both its comic and its tragic aspects. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 9.2]

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

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