Chaucer, Langland and the Creative Imagination

Author / Editor
Aers, David.

Chaucer, Langland and the Creative Imagination

London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.

Aers explores the conflict between traditional Christian ideology and social and individual realities in "Piers Plowman," and Langland's criticism of abuse of power in all ranks of the clerical hierarchy. Langland calls for reformation within traditional ideology, resolving the tensions apocalyptically in his poetry, but at the end rejecting a millenarian renewal, and sees conscience pursuing grace alone.
Chaucer's "reflexivity" is seen in the Wife of Bath's mockery of ecclesiastical traditions, and in the Pardoner's exposures. TC reveals Chaucer's concern with the manipulative pressures that subordinate human relationships to patriarchal militaristic glory. The "marriage group" except for FranT in CT show how both sexes were engulfed in an orthodoxy which maintained women as subservient and marriage as a commodity exchange. KnT shows the realities of and human attitudes involved in militarism.

Chaucer Subjects
Background and General Criticism.