Chaucer: Poet of Mirth and Morality.

Author / Editor
Corsa, Helen Storm.

Chaucer: Poet of Mirth and Morality.

Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1964.

Physical Description
vi, 247 pp.

Describes how Chaucer's "mirth reveals his moral premises" and conveys joy throughout his poetic corpus, explaining how the early dream poems, in varying degrees, communicate the progress of the comic narrators toward greater moral and philosophic realizations about kinds of love. At times reflecting PF, TC combines Boethius's "divinely comic philosophy" with Chaucer's awareness of human exuberance and excess to disclose the tragedy of fortune and human blindness. Generally, CT reveals the order and Providential justice implicit in human diversity and limitation. Part 1 lays out "modes" of comedy, complemented by the mirth of the religious tales and the dramatic interplay of the Marriage Group. Comedy "unmasks" vice in FrT, SumT, and PardPT, while Th, Mel, MkT, and NPT are more oblique in their expressions of moral philosophy. CYPT and ManPT diminish "comic joy and zest" but ParsT and Ret replace them with penitential forgiveness.

Chaucer Subjects
Background and General Criticism
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Canterbury Tales--General
Troilus and Criseyde
Book of the Duchess
House of Fame
Parliament of Fowls
Legend of Good Women