Chapter

Allegory, Irony, Despair: Chaucer's <i>Pardoner's</i> and <i>Franklin's Tales</i> and Spenser's <i>Faerie Queene</i>, Books I and III

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/9780823228478.003.0005
Allegory, Irony, Despair: Chaucer's Pardoner's and Franklin's Tales and Spenser's Faerie Queene, Books I and III

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The most complex and compelling interpretations of earlier texts are to be found in writers who imitate and revise, not only their content, but also their forms. Awareness of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale and especially of its “old man” is brooding and pervasive through much of Book I. It conspicuously and ironically involves the Redcrosse Knight's recurrent encounters with mirrors of himself that he fails to recognize and it also begins with the old man Archimango and climaxes in the related character of Despair. Chaucer referred to the restless wish of an old man to Augustinian despair, which is the inverse of pride, an abyss of guilt, self-tormenting, and self-destruction.

Keywords: Chaucer; Franklin; Spenser; self-destruction; imitate; texts; despair; old man; self-tormenting

Chapter.  7268 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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