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Chaucer, Ethics, and Gender (Alcuin Blamires) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2006) 9780199248674
Chaucer, Ethics, and Gender (Alcuin Blamires) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2006) 9780199248674
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Title: Chaucer, Ethics, and Gender

Author: Blamires, Alcuin

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2006

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780199248674

Volumes: 1; Pages: 288

List Price in Cloth: $125.00 Our price: $101.99

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This book makes a vigorous reassessment of the moral dimension in Chaucer's writings. For the Middle Ages, the study of human behavior generally signified the study of the morality of attitudes, choices, and actions. Moreover, moral analysis was not gender neutral: it presupposed that certain virtues and certain failings were largely gender-specific. Alcuin Blamires, mainly concentrating on The Canterbury Tales, discloses how Chaucer adapts the composite inherited traditions of moral literature to shape the significance and the gender implications of his narratives. Chaucer, Ethics, and Gender is therefore not a theorization of ethical reading but a discussion of Chaucer's engagement with the literature of practical ethical advice. Working with the commonplace primary sources of the period, Blamires demonstrates that Stoic ideals, somewhat uncomfortably absorbed within medieval Christian moral codes as Chaucer realized, penetrate the poet's constructions of how women and men behave in matters (for instance) of friendship and anger, sexuality and chastity, protest and sufferance, generosity and greed, credulity and foresight.The book will be absorbing for all serious readers or teachers of Chaucer because it is packed with commanding new insights. It offers illuminating explanations concerning topics that have often eluded critics in the past: the flood-forecast in The Miller's Tale, for example; or the status of emotion and equanimity in The Franklin's Tale; the "unethical" sexual trading in the Shipman's Tale; the contemporary moral force of a widow's curse in The Friar's Tale; and the quizzical moral link between the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale. There is even a new hypothesis about the conceptual design of The Canterbury Tales as a whole. Deeply informed and historically alert, this is a book that engages its reader in the vital role played by ethical assumptions (with their attendant gender assumptions) in Chaucer's major poetry.Table of ContentsIntroduction1. Fellowship and Detraction in the Architecture of the Canterbury Tales: from the General Prologue and the Knight's Tale to the Parson's Prologue2. Credulity and Vision: the Miller's Tale, the Merchant's Tale, the Wife of Bath's Tale3. Sex and Lust: The Merchant's Tale, The Reeve's Tale, and other Tales4. The Ethics of Sufficiency: the Man of Law's Introduction and Tale, the Shipman's Tale5. Liberality: the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale and the Franklin's Tale6. Problems of Patience: the Franklin's Tale, the Clerk's Tale, the Nun's Priest's Tale7. Men, Women and Moral Jurisdiction: the Friar's Tale, the Physician's Tale, and the Pardoner8. Proprieties of Work and Speech: the Second Nun's Prologue and Tale, the Canon's Yeoman's Prologue and Tale, the Manciple's Prologue and Tale, and the Parson's PrologueConclusion
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