Gower Bibliography

Gower and Rime Royal

Ito, Masayoshi. "Gower and Rime Royal." Bulletin of College of General Education, Tohoku University 12 (1971), pp. 47-65. ISSN 0287-8844


In Japanese. This article presents a prosodic analysis of the rhyme-royal stanzas contained in the "Supplication of Amans" in CA 8.2217-2300 and "In Praise of Peace," with frequent comparison to Chaucer's use of the same stanza form in "Parliament of Fowls," "Troilus and Criseyde," and four tales in the "Canterbury Tales." According to Ito, Gower's rhyme royal is markedly different from Chaucer's in the following respects. First, whereas rhyme royal in Chaucer's poems is freed from the formal constraints of the French ballade to such an extent that it is transformed into a flexible vehicle for verse narrative, Gower's rhyme royal retains close resemblance to the ballade form due to its tendency to form a "tern," or a ballade-like set of three stanzas. Second, unlike Chaucer, who makes effective use of run-on lines and run-on stanzas to create a sense of onward movement, Gower treats the rhyme-royal stanza as a self-contained unit whose integrity is marked by a strong break at its end. Third, while the Chaucerian stanza often conveys a strong sense of a couplet through the end-stopped fifth line, Gower prefers a pause before the seventh line, thus making it resemble the final line of the ballade stanza that functions as a refrain. On the basis of these observations, Ito refutes the widely held assumption about Chaucer's influence on Gower's prosody, arguing instead that Gower's skillful use of rhyme royal in his English poems stems from his own experiments in French balladry in CB and "Traité." [Yoshiko Kobayashi]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Style, Rhetoric, and Versification
Confessio Amantis
Cinkante Balades
In Praise of Peace
Traité pour Essampler les Amants Marietz

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