Scolars are uncertain about the date of composition. The whelp in chaucers book of the duchess 149 sciously depicting a tender relationship between the animal and the dreamer. The book of the duchess wikisource, the free online library. Most sources ascribe the date of composition between 69 and 72, though more recent studies suggest that the poem may have been completed as early as late 68. This lesson explores the poems plot as well as its form and the history behind its fantastical visions. The book of the duchess and other poems summary gradesaver. Geoffrey chaucers poem, the book of the duchess, tells of a sleepdeprived man the dreamer who is looking for a cure for his anxiety. Describes the textual history of book of the duchess and discusses significant variants among the three manuscripts and thynnes early edition, challenging the authenticity of lines 3196, 288, and 886 derived from. Start your 48hour free trial to unlock this book of the duchess study guide and get instant access to. Focusing on the construction and value of the book of the duchess. The majority of the book of the duchess was written in rhyming couplets aa, bb, cc, dd, and so on. Description of text a modernised translation of chaucers book of the duchess, retaining as much of chaucers diction and rhymes as possible. According to this general criterion, chaucers the book of the duchess may stake a claim to this genre of literature.
The book of the duchess is a poem of the dreamvision genre, presumably composed as an elegy for the death of blanche, duchess of lancaster the wife of geoffrey chaucers patron, the royal duke of lancaster, john of gaunt in 68 or 69. Most sources put the date of composition after 12 september 68 when blanche of lancaster died and 72, with many recent studies privileging a date as early as the end of 68. When, in chaucers career, was the book of the duchess published. Contexts and interpretations chaucer studies jamie c fumo on. The transformation of chaucers narrator in the book of. The book of the duchess from chaucer and his poetry by g l kittredge. After extensive reading, chaucers first attempt to write a text draws significant inspiration from past texts such as ovids metamorphoses and the medieval french dream vision romance of the rose. The poem was composed sometime in the few years after this event, and it is generally considered to be flattering to both the duke and the duchess. The poem begins with a sleepless poet who lies in bed reading a book. I was so happy to find the book of the duchess and six other lyrics included in the back of my copy of chaucers the canterbury tales. Most scolars ascribe the date of composition between 69 and 72. Book of the duchess crossreferences included at the bottom of the page8. Most recently, margaret connolly has wondered why chaucer chose to use the chess metaphor at all, since it does not seem to work very well within the context of the poem. But so many changes have occurred in pronunciation and stress between chaucers middle english and todays english that we tend to read the lines with more or.
It would seem fitting and natural that chaucer commemorate the duchess, as a measure of. It is a narrative poem which illustrates that chaucer was heavily influenced by french poetry in his early compositions. The book of the duchess by geoffrey chaucer, paperback. The book of the duchess is the earliest of chaucers major poems, preceded only by his short poem an abc and possibly his translation of the romaunt of the rose. Behind my question also lay the memory of a dreamlike church in the cotswalds, ewelme, where chaucers granddaughter, the countess of salisbury and the duchess of suffolk, lies buried.
Hardman jegp 93 94 images of pity in bd, sqt and tc s. This book spoke only of such things as the lives of queens and kings, and like matters without fail. Chaucers canterbury tales prologue in middle english not complete duration. Chaucers first major poem, book of the duchess, represents a devoted readers best attempt at creating a meaningful and authoritative text of their own. The book of the duchess, also known as the deth of blaunche, is the earliest of chaucer s major poems, preceded only by his short poem, an abc, and possibly by his translation of the romaunt of the rose. Perhaps chaucer cannot sustain the seriousness without resorting to the comic. Chaucer probably wrote the poem to commemorate the death of blanche of lancaster, john of gaunts wife. Other articles where the book of the duchess is discussed. Details on the black knights transformation of his love white into his chess. For another argument dating the publication of the poem in 74 see the appendix to john m. Application of the chess metaphor to the context of love.
The book of the duchess washington state university. The historical setting of chaucers book of the duchess. Based on the themes and title of the poem, most sources put the date of composition after 12 september, 68 when blanche of lancaster died and before 72, with many recent studies. Some of the english seems modernized, but a lot of it isnt. Repre sentativeof the conventional interpretationof thepoem are the works of clemen, kittredge, muscatine and. This third level beneath chaucer poet, beneath the reasonable man is implied in the book of the duchess but is incarnate in chaucer pilgrim in the canterbury tales. The book of the duchessis the first of chaucer s major poems. In the book of the duchess, the most traditional of the four, the dreamer meets a. The book of the duchess by geoffrey chaucer essay geoffrey chaucers poem, the book of the duchess, tells of a sleepdeprived man the dreamer who is looking for a cure for his anxiety. The book of the duchess was geoffrey chaucers first long published poem. It was his last major poem, published right before his death around. Written in octosyllabic couplets, the 1,335line poem is a veritable mosaic of several genresincluding allegory, dream vision, elegy, and romanceinfused with themes of love, loss, and consolation.
And in this book were written fables that scholars had in ancient times, and other poets, set in rhymes 55 to read and preserve in mind when men still lived by law of kind. The book of the duchess work by chaucer britannica. Chaucer seems to be playing a variety of games and expands the vision he had in both the book of the duchess and the house of fame. Integrating humor with sorrow offers a larger conception of the transitoriness of things. Making chaucers book of the duchess is the first comprehensive booklength study of chaucers earliest major narrative poem and its reception. Although we do not definitively know the cause of his illness, we are led to believe it is because of lovesickness. The book of the duchess southern methodist university. Butterfield sac 16 94 pastoral and the politics of plague in machaut and chaucer p. The book of the duchess and other poems chaucer and. Shippey chaur 31 967 chs arithmetical mentality and bd. This volume, the first fulllength collection devoted to the book, argues powerfully against the prevalent view. The book of the duchess and other poems by geoffrey chaucer.
The poet reads a story about ceyx and alcyone and wanders around in his thoughts. In order to pass the time one night, he reads a book about king seys and his wife alcyone. In the third of these, in 69, died queen philippa and her daughterinlaw blanche, the wife of john of gaunt, duke of lancaster. The book of the duchess, also known as the deth of blaunche, is the earliest of chaucers major poems, preceded only by his short poem, an abc, and. Book of the duchess harvards geoffrey chaucer website. Parallel between poets insomnia and knight according to the medieval dream theory and its classification system, the dream experience by the poet in the book of duchess seemingly belongs to that variety wherein the impression and concerns of the previous day are recycled during sleep macrobius 8890. Spanning chaucers working life, these four poems build on the medieval convention of love visions poems inspired by dreams, woven into rich allegories about the rituals and emotions of courtly love. Part 3 forms of the poem the book of the duchess 1.
The book of the duchess, one of chaucers earliestpoems has traditionallybeen read as an elegy for blanche, duchess of lancaster, who died inseptember, 69, and as an attempt by chaucer to console john of gaunt, blanches husband. Consolation in the book of the duchess by geoffrey chaucer. The book of the duchess is the earliest of chaucers major poems, preceded only by his short poem, an abc, and possibly by his translation of the romaunt of the rose. The duchess was blanche white, the wife of john of gaunt, duke of lancaster long castle and earl of richmond rich hill, who was chaucers patron, and a son of edward iii. How do we figure out the date the book of the duchess was written, and what are some problems with this technique. The book of the duchess, chaucers first major poem, is foundational for our understanding of chaucers literary achievements in relation to latemedieval english textual production. Dive deep into geoffrey chaucers book of the duchess with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion. While to me it seems like kind of a given that the medieval folk were quite fixated on dreams and their significance, chaucer takes a really interesting stance here that makes for not one, but two good stories. It was the first long work he published, sometime around 72. According to medieval dream theory and its classification system, the dream experienced by the poet in the book of the duchess would seem to belong to that variety wherein the impressions and concerns of the previous day are recycled during sleep macrobius 8890. The late roman philosophical text the consolation of philosophy, by ancius manlius severinus boethius, was an extremely wellknown and highly respected book in chaucers time. The book of the duchess is a decently lengthy poem which has a really, really intriguing structure. Geoffrey chaucer 421400 the book of the duchess middle. The duchess was blanche white, the wife of john of gaunt, duke of lancaster long castle and earl of richmond rich hill, who was chaucer s patron, and a son of edward iii.
It was considered a must for most schools, and there were very few learned people who had not read boethiuss work and the ample medieval commentary available on the book and its subject. The whelp has been termed a most pleasing symbol of the sympathy that pervades chaucers dream world. The ostensible occasion of chaucers poem is the death of blanche, duchess of lancaster and wife of the authors benefactor, john of gaunt. This article provides information on the life and works of geoffrey chaucer, the father of english literature. The book of the duchessis the first of chaucers major poems. The book of the duchess, also known as the dreame of chaucer, is the first major long poem published by geoffrey chaucer. This lesson explores the poems plot as well as its form and the.
It provides a rigorous and critically balanced assimilation of the book of the duchess, the story of its reception and dissemination, and the major trends in its interpretive history. The book of the duchess as a chaucerian consolation essay. The tomb of the duchess in a masters orals i asked the candidate to discuss chaucers book of the duchess and brownings my last duchess. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and classic fiction. Four dreadful plagues laid england waste in chaucers lifetime. Buy the book of the duchess by chaucer, geoffrey, the perfect library from amazons fiction books store.91 855 544 394 523 23 83 736 929 749 1590 360 19 1353 1225 121 962 1554 1057 154 720 581 1201 1443 681 671 1616 940 479 627 1099 840 112 1336 1330 312 283 795 1217 1316 1204 1101 1124 866 1262