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The Squire’s Tale: Romance as Mask

The Squire’s Tale: Romance as Mask

(p.43) Chapter 3 The Squire’s Tale: Romance as Mask
Trade and Romance
Michael Murrin
University of Chicago Press

The focus of this chapter is the mixed audience of these eastern stories. Both the aristocracy and the commercial classes loved them. In this tale, we can see the double audience both by the people associated with the Squire and by remarks the Squire makes, which can be read two ways. The setting of the tale is Sarai on the Volga, then considered part of Asia. This location evokes especially the Genoese trading system, and Chaucer’s interaction with the Genoese both in England and in Italy. The genre of The Squire’s Tale is that of the composite romance, which intensifies the marvels of traditional romance.

Keywords:   class, gentilesse, Genoese, composite, Romance

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