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An analysis of the Chaucerian cuckold.

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dc.contributor.author Dodge, Michael James
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-21T14:30:53Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-21T14:30:53Z
dc.date.created 1975 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-12-21
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2504
dc.description iii, 155 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract "And if thow take a wyf unto thyn hoold, Ful lightly maystow been a cokewold." In The Wife of Bath's Tale, the old hag gives the young knight, whose life she has just saved, a choice: To han me foul and old til that I deye, And be to yow a trewe, humble wyf, ••• Or elles ye wol han me yong and fair, And take youre aventure of the repair That shal be to youre hous by cause of me, •••• (III[D] 1220-1225) His dilemma is profound; he can have an ugly faithful wife or a beautiful wife who will make him a cuckold. The knight wisely succeeds in acquiring both a beautiful and loyal wife, but many husbands are not quite so lucky, in both art and life. The horns of the cuckold often accompany the wedding vows. In a majority of cases, the cuckold, usually a figure of ridicule and scorn, appears as a humorous joke to everyone but the cuckold himself. However, the cuckold does not always provide merriment and humor; depending on motivation and circumstance, the horned husband is often a tragic figure who deserves sympathy. In Chaucer's poetry, the cuckold is portrayed as both comic and tragic. The humorous fabliaux of TheCanterbury Tales produce hilariously comic cuckolds. In Troilus and Criseyde, the infidelity of Criseyde creates Troilus, the tragic cuckold. Essentially, this study attempts to detail the roles and characters of the comic and tragic cuckolds which Chaucer so skillfully created. If this work succeeds at all, it is because of Chaucer's artistry rather than my weak explanations of his poetry and characters. Since Chaucer's comic cuckolds are all found in fabliauxtype tales, a knowledge of the French fabliaux 'would seem to be a prerequisite to an understanding of the Chaucerian cuckold. The two standard studies of the French fabliaux by Joseph Bedier and Per Nykrog are available only in French, and, while a growing body of English scholarship exists on the subject, it is difficult to gain a complete overview of the fabliaux without reference to these two excellent sources. However, the publication of The Humor of ~ Fabliaux, a collection of critical essays edited by Thomas D. Cooke and Benjamin L. Honeycutt, gathers together an abundance of excellent scholarship on the subject of the Old French fabliaux. I am deeply indebted to Thomas D. Cooke who was kind enough to provide me with a manuscript of these essays prior to publication. I wish to thank him profusely for the aid that he, the manuscript, and its contents provided me in this study. Furthermore, I would like to thank Dr. Charles E. Walton for his valuable advice and criticism and I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Dr. James F. Hoy who provided not only advice and time but also inspiration and proof that the second time is often better than the first. Finally, I wish to thank my wife, Dee Dee, who faithfully supported and put up ·,'iith me and my cuckolds during the writing of this thesis. Michael James Dodge December, 1975 en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400-Criticism and interpretation. en_US
dc.title An analysis of the Chaucerian cuckold. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Charles E. Walton en_US
dc.department english, modern languages and literatures en_US

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