The Clerk’s Tale : literal monstrosities and allegorical problems Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z029p9427

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  • My thesis, entitled “The Clerk’s Tale: Literal Monstrosities and Allegorical Problems,” argues that Chaucer’s Clerk is engaging both sides of a binary system. The Clerk has situated himself in a precarious position between two major schools of thought in the medieval culture, Franciscan and Dominican; the former promotes the will or action while the latter emphasizes contemplation and introspection. Through his description in the General Prologue, Chaucer presents the Clerk symbolically as an adherent of the school of Aristotle, who was the philosophical forbearer of Dominic. This initial association is confounded when the Clerk uses his tale as an opportunity to deliver an allegorical message through a narrative with an ethically monstrous literal level, aligning him with he other half of the binary. I demonstrate that these literal monstrosities are accompanied by fundamental problems in the allegory and suggest that this struggle between the literal and the allegorical is the result of the Clerk’s inability to incorporate both schools of thought successfully. Chaucer sets up the Wife of Bath as a foil for the Clerk on these points; this is a part of a pattern in the Canterbury Tales in which each pilgrim represents a different set of beliefs and narrative strategies and Chaucer invites the reader to see the problems inherent in each of these possibilities. I conclude by considering how the complications plaguing the allegorical and literal levels of the Clerk’s Tale are further problematized in his “Envoy,” which attempts to reconcile the two levels and thus the two schools of thought.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2007-06-26T16:59:47Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Thesis Final.pdf: 281393 bytes, checksum: d26ed41826214b92f5e7c24869fd1456 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Christopher Brock (brockc@onid.orst.edu) on 2007-06-11T19:59:15Z No. of bitstreams: 2 Thesis Pretext-1.pdf: 28301 bytes, checksum: fa36a062276f1b718d478b77165df523 (MD5) Thesis2-1.pdf: 276707 bytes, checksum: ed0e1301614aa0de2e490016961200b2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2007-06-26T21:12:37Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Thesis Final.pdf: 281393 bytes, checksum: d26ed41826214b92f5e7c24869fd1456 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Christopher Brock (brockc@onid.orst.edu) on 2007-06-26T16:50:20Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Thesis Final.pdf: 281393 bytes, checksum: d26ed41826214b92f5e7c24869fd1456 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Rejected by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu), reason: Rejecting because the two PDF needs to be converted into one. When you have the corrected file then - 1)open the item that was rejected 2)replace the file with the revised file 3)resubmit the item. Thanks, Julie on 2007-06-19T20:04:48Z (GMT)

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