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|Title:||Diet in the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>It is the purpose of this thesis to examine Chaucer's use of diet in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Certain of the portraits include references to diet: the Monk is described as loving a "fat swan" above all other "roosts". To discover why such a food is attributed to the Monk is to discover his spiritual state, the primary concern of the Church-dominated Middle Ages.</p> <p>By investigating medieval literature for dietary allusions, it becomes possible to understand the nature of Chaucer's references. The Monk's swan, it will be demonstrated, is highly significant in its metaphorical interpretation, and contributes to his characterization as representative of the failure of the monastic ideal. The swan, as well, indicates that the Monk has succumbed to the mortal sin of gluttony, which is defined as oVerindulgence in food and drink of an excessively delicate nature.</p> <p>Chapter Two, therefore, of the thesis investigates medieval moral literature for its definitions of proper and improper Christian diet. Chapter Three attempts to discover the use of references to diet in satirical poetry in order to understand the irony behind such references that Chaucer so consistently employed in the Prologue. The fourth chapter then applies the findings of Chapters Two and Three to seven of the portraits in the General Prologue which include dietary references: those of the Prioress, the Monk, the Friar, the Franklin, the Cook, the Doctor, and the Summoner, in order to achieve a better perception of Chaucer's intention in the portrayal of these pilgrims. Having done so, it should be recognized that Chaucer's methods and intentions differed little from his contemporaries, even though his poetic genius al lowed his creations to outshine all others of his age.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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