History Contra Poetics in The Physician’s Tale

There is no introduction to "The Physician's Tale." We begin en media res. The tale cites its source as Titius Livius ("Livy") the great Roman historian, though Chaucer likely borrowed sections from The Romance of the Rose which he also partially translated. Unlike other tales, "The Physician's Tale" is not about unrequited love or the … Continue reading History Contra Poetics in The Physician’s Tale

The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody

The Wife of Bath is the most famous albeit the most troubling character in Chaucerian literature. As with other storytellers in The Canterbury Tales, we are given only her title at first: the "Wife of Bath." Later, we learn her name is Alysoun, and sometimes goes by "Aly" (recall that she shares a name with … Continue reading The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody