Harry Bailly And Chaucer-Pilgrim’s ‘Quiting’ in the Tale Of Sir Thopas

Title
Harry Bailly And Chaucer-Pilgrim’s ‘Quiting’ in the Tale Of Sir Thopas
Authors
Eckert, Kenneth David
Keywords
'SIR-THOPAS'; AUTHORITY
Issue Date
2016-12
Publisher
OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Citation
REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES, v. 68, No. 285, Page. 471-487
Abstract
While recent scholarship has taken a more benign attitude toward the Middle English romances, Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas is still generally read as a satire or parody of the genre. Yet Chaucer’s period did not have a compelling tradition of satire, nor did his contemporaries necessarily disdain romance. The claim that Thopas is parodic is stronger, but only if we recognize that the target of the poem may still not be romances but be internal to the Canterbury Tales. A new route to parsing the tale involves considering it within the larger frame of Fragment VII / Group B² as a requital to the Host’s puerile literary pretensions and joking homosocial insults to Chaucer-pilgrim. Thopas’s effeminate feebleness responds to the Host’s emasculating jibes, and the story’s failed tropes and nugatory plot humorously answer his demands for ‘myrthe’. The incongruity between the story’s register and content also signal the intentionality of the tale’s bungling, which heightens the requital’s comic effect when Harry Bailly fails to recognize it and overlooks the intricately crafted poetics of the seemingly-botched story.
URI
https://academic.oup.com/res/article/68/285/471/2676912http://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/71358
ISSN
0034-6551; 1471-6968
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/res/hgw134
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF LANGUAGES & CULTURES[E](국제문화대학) > ENGLISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE(영미언어·문화학과) > Articles
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