Location

Stephen F Austin State University, Baker Pattillo Student Center, Regent's Suite A and Twilight Ballroom

Start Date

7-4-2011 4:00 PM

End Date

7-4-2011 8:00 PM

Description

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims’ host Harry Bailey invites the Monk to “quyte” or “repay” the Knight’s tale. Intrigued by various thematic and verbal connections between The Knight’s Taleand The Franklin’s Tale, and informed by critical opinions which identify the former as the “other” against which the remainder of the Canterbury Talesis arrayed, I set out to examine the ways in which The Franklin’s Tale “quytes” or responds to the issues raised in The Knight’s Tale. Not only are both tales chivalric romances set in the pagan past, but both also address the question of how human happiness can be maintained in a world in which humans can at best partially control the effects of external forces and the deficiencies of their own natures on the felicity of human life. My thesis is that The Franklin's Taleimplicitly proposes solutions to philosophical and social problems left unresolved in The Knight's Taleand presents a more positive vision of social possibilities than The Knight's Tale. In the course of this comparison, I argue that the tales' treatments of philosophical issues reflect the social concerns and positions of their respective tellers, and I see this connection of the universal and the particular as an important contribution to Chaucer criticism.

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Apr 7th, 4:00 PM Apr 7th, 8:00 PM

What is this Life?: Responses to Contingency in Chaucer's Pagan Romances

Stephen F Austin State University, Baker Pattillo Student Center, Regent's Suite A and Twilight Ballroom

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims’ host Harry Bailey invites the Monk to “quyte” or “repay” the Knight’s tale. Intrigued by various thematic and verbal connections between The Knight’s Taleand The Franklin’s Tale, and informed by critical opinions which identify the former as the “other” against which the remainder of the Canterbury Talesis arrayed, I set out to examine the ways in which The Franklin’s Tale “quytes” or responds to the issues raised in The Knight’s Tale. Not only are both tales chivalric romances set in the pagan past, but both also address the question of how human happiness can be maintained in a world in which humans can at best partially control the effects of external forces and the deficiencies of their own natures on the felicity of human life. My thesis is that The Franklin's Taleimplicitly proposes solutions to philosophical and social problems left unresolved in The Knight's Taleand presents a more positive vision of social possibilities than The Knight's Tale. In the course of this comparison, I argue that the tales' treatments of philosophical issues reflect the social concerns and positions of their respective tellers, and I see this connection of the universal and the particular as an important contribution to Chaucer criticism.