Chapter

Spenser's <i>Muiopotmos</i> and Chaucer's <i>Nun's Priest's Tale</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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0008
Spenser's Muiopotmos and Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale

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In Muiopotmos, Spenser's specific interest in The Nun's Priest's Tale lies somewhere between sustained allusion and incidental reminiscence. Just what had been said in the The Nun's Priest's Tale that the real hero of the poem is rhetoric, yet it is different type of rhetoric used for different reasons and with different effects. Spenser significantly varies Chaucer's conspicuous use of rhetoric in relation to the ideologically sensitive themes of fortune and free will. Even though Spenser varies Chaucer's use of rhetoric in his work, the The Nun's Priest's Tale illuminates the characteristic that makes his poem Renaissance when compared to Muiopotmos. The Nun's Priest's Tale also offers a world simultaneously comic and sober, cheerful despite its threat and, despite its pitfalls, it is wonderfully secure, while in Muiopotmos, Spenser leaves a different impression of a world living in hostility.

Keywords: Muiopotmos; Spenser; Chaucer; allusion; fortune; free will; rhetoric; Renaissance; hostility; The Nun's Priest's Tale

Chapter.  7056 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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