What Comes After Chaucer's <i>But</i> in <i>The Faerie Queene</i>

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI:
What Comes After Chaucer's But in The Faerie Queene

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Talbot Donaldson's article examines how the illogical use of but in Chaucer's Prologue indicates the pressure of a mind. The article is further evidence of the presence of a dramatic person in The General Prologue, although Donaldson resolutely avoids making claims explicitly about it. The recurrence of logical and illogical but, whether conjunctive or propositional, is an intensification of Chaucerian practice in The General Prologue. The recurrence of but and other syntactical construction with increasing subjectivity has never seemed significant to the readers of Spenser. But in the Prologue expresses an illogical or ambiguous relation between one aspect of human behavior or appearance, while in Proem it expresses a similar relation between an antique ideal “forgerie” of present time. In both works, the syntax indicates a dynamic, developing process whether it is a visual and narrational process or a visionary and self-expressive one.

Keywords: Talbot Donaldson; Chaucer; Spenser; syntax; human behavior; Proem; logical; illogical; but; The Faerie Queene

Chapter.  5151 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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