Poetry, Narrators, Love poetry, Narrative poetry, Elegies, Diseases, Persona, Literature, Puns, and Anniversaries
The clarity of four topical puns appearing near the end of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess has encouraged criticism to erect an hypothesis about the poem's composition which has scarcely ever been questioned. This essay proposes a rival hypothesis based largely on internal evidence. It argues that the peom was completed in 1377, not 1369 as is generally believed; that the Black Knight is not John of Gaunt but a gently humorous portrait of the poet himself as a young mourning rhymster in 1369, confronted by his still mourning but more mature self of 1377; and that the entire poem skillfully depicts Chaucer's advancement and artistic progress within a world of patronage.
Love poetry, Literary criticism, Poetry, Puns, Narrative poetry, Insomnia, Sleep, Inspiration, Dreams, and Hunting
A response to John N. Palmer, "The Historical Context of the Book of the Duchess: A Revision," ChauR, 8 (1974), 253-61. See also Edward I. Condren, "The Historical Context of the Book of the Duchess: A New Hypothesis," ChauR, 5 (1971), 195-212.