A New Look at Chaucer and the Rhetoricians.

Author / Editor
Murphy, James J.

A New Look at Chaucer and the Rhetoricians.

Review of English Studies 15, no. 57 (1964): 1-20.

Surveys the "status of rhetoric in England" during Chaucer's lifetime, documenting the "ubiquity of grammatical texts and the paucity of rhetorical texts." Tabulates Chaucer's uses of the terminology of rhetoric and style, analyzes his usage of these terms (characterizing it as "loose"), and explores Chaucer's allusions to Cicero, Petrarch, and Geoffrey of Vinsauf, arguing that they are conventional or written in imitation of French models, with purported echoes of Vinsauf likely derived from Nicholas Trivet's "Annales." Concludes that "Chaucer's use of certain 'rhetorical' terms merely indicates a generalized knowledge of rhetoric rather than a technical acquaintance with it."

Chaucer Subjects
Style and Versification
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations