Geoffrey Chaucer Short Fiction Analysis
Geoffrey Chaucer’s best-known works are Troilus and Criseyde and the unfinished The Canterbury Tales, with the Book of the Duchess, the Hous of Fame, the Parlement of Foules, and The Legend of Good Women positioned in the second rank. In addition to these works and to Boece (c. 1380; translation of Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy, c. 523-524) and the Romaunt of the Rose, there exist a number of shorter and lesser-known poems, some of which merit brief attention.
These lesser-known poems demonstrate Chaucer’s abilities in diverse but typically medieval forms. Perhaps the earliest extant example of Chaucer’s work is “An ABC to the Virgin”; this poem, primarily a translation from a thirteenth century French source, is a traditional series of prayers in praise of Mary, the stanzas of which are arranged in alphabetical order according to the first letter of each stanza. Another traditional form Chaucer used is the “complaint,” or formal lament. “A Complaint to His Lady” is significant in literary history as the first appearance in English of Dante’s terza rima, and “The Complaint unto Pity” is one of the earliest examples of rime royal; this latter poem contains an unusual analogy which represents the personified Pity as being buried in a heart. “The Complaint of Mars” illustrates Chaucer’s individuality in treating traditional themes and...
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