Chaucerian Conflict: Languages of Antagonism in Late by Marion Turner

By Marion Turner

Chaucerian clash explores the textual setting of London within the 1380s and 1390s, revealing a language of betrayal, surveillance, slander, treason, uprising, improper idealism, and corrupted compaignyes. Taking a strongly interdisciplinary technique, it examines how discourses approximately social antagonism paintings throughout other kinds of texts written at the present, together with Chaucer's residence of popularity, Troilus and Criseyde, and Canterbury stories, and different literary texts resembling St Erkenwald, Gower's Vox clamantis, Usk's testomony of affection, and Maidstone's Concordia. Many non-literary texts also are mentioned, together with the Mercers' Petition, Usk's attraction, the guild returns, judicial letters, de Mezieres's Letter to Richard II, and chronicle accounts.These have been tumultuous a long time in London: many of the conflicts and difficulties mentioned comprise the Peasants' rebel, the mayoral rivalries of the 1380s, the cruel Parliament, slander laws, and modern suspicion of city institutions. whereas modern texts attempt to carry out desire for the long run, or think an past Golden Age, Chaucer's texts foreground social clash and antagonism. notwithstanding such a lot critics have promoted an concept of Chaucer's texts as basically socially positive and congenial, Marion Turner argues that Chaucer offers a imaginative and prescient of a society that's necessarily divided and harmful.

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Extra info for Chaucerian Conflict: Languages of Antagonism in Late Fourteenth-Century London (Oxford English Monographs)

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Squire’s Tale’, ll. 209–11) In these references, the blame is unambiguously attributed to Sinon as agent of Troy’s downfall; he is accused in all of them of actively bringing misery to Troy, which itself is helpless, has no agency, and is the innocent victim. His culpability is also emphasized in the House of Fame: First sawgh I the destruction Of Troye thurgh the Grek Synon, [That] with his false forswerynge, And his chere and his lesynge, Made the hors broght into Troye, Thorgh which Troyens loste al her joye.

The declared specificity of the mercers’ critique changes the nature of that critique. It is focused only on the government of Brembre’s party in London. The mercers seem confident that such corruption and oppression can be ended, by the actions of some men of great authority. If the lords to whom they are appealing will listen to their complaints, remove Brembre’s coterie from office, chastise the king about his protection of such men, and establish a different kind of rule, then the atmosphere in London could change completely.

In the House of Fame the scandal-spreaders are also described as a ‘congregacioun | Of folk’ (ll. 2034–5, emphasis mine)—a garrulous group that would have been viewed with deep suspicion in 1380s London. Their gossipy discussions—some private and some open—are implicitly associated with urban sedition when Chaucer writes: Thus north and south Wente every tydyng fro mouth to mouth, And that encresing every moo, As fyr is wont to quyke and goo From a sparke spronge amys, Til al a citee brent up ys.

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