Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle AgesEthics and the Mixed Form in Chaucer, Gower, Usk, and Hoccleve$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eleanor Johnson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226015842

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226015989.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 January 2019

Prosimetrum and the CanterburyPhilosophy of Literature

Prosimetrum and the CanterburyPhilosophy of Literature

(p.122) Chapter Four Prosimetrum and the CanterburyPhilosophy of Literature
Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages

Eleanor Johnson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter further explores Chaucer's only formally prosimetric work, the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer's form in Tales is designed as a pointed gesture toward prosimetrum, being that it does not alternate prose with meter as regularly as is practiced by other prosimetra. In fact, like Boethius's prosimetrum, the Canterbury Tales explicitly theorizes the difference between prose and meter as opposed methods of aiding an audience in learning. The Canterbury Tales also puts forth two more basic questions of literary philosophy, besides the questions posed by Boece and Troilus. The first is with regards to the composition, reading, or hearing of literature, and whether these constitute a good use of time. The second deals with the aesthetic form and style, and how they both might contribute to literature's ability or failure to make the most of time. These questions are both addressed by this chapter to determine the philosophical implications of literature in Chaucer's work.

Keywords:   prosimetric work, canterbury tales, chaucer, prosimetrum, prosimetra, boethius's prosimetrum, literary philosophy, boece, troilus

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.