Deprivation and Excess in The Tale of Sir Thopas and The Tale of Melibee

Chaucer, the pilgrim, is the only member of the group who is allowed to present a second tale on the way to Canterbury. He delivers his second tale following the failure of his minstrel song, "The Tale of Sir Thopas." The second tale is told in prose form. It is about a rich man named … Continue reading Deprivation and Excess in The Tale of Sir Thopas and The Tale of Melibee

A Hollow Story of Martyrdom In The Prioress’s Tale

In the "General Prologue" the nun, or "Prioress," is described as simple and coy. Her name is "madame Eglentyne" and her greatest oath is by "Saint Loy," or Saint Eligius, the patron saint of goldsmiths, metalworkers, and coin collectors. Perhaps the Prioress cares deeply for transient physical valuables. At any rate, she speaks French very … Continue reading A Hollow Story of Martyrdom In The Prioress’s Tale

What Is A Eulogy? Ethos, Pathos, and Logos In Pericles’s Funeral Oration Speech

Thucydides offers one-hundred and forty-one speeches in his monumental history of the Peloponnesian War, yet the early eulogy offered by Pericles (in Book II) is surely the most famous. The word "eulogy" comes down to us from the Greek word eulogia meaning to offer praise, or even high praise. Pericles delivers his famous eulogy, the … Continue reading What Is A Eulogy? Ethos, Pathos, and Logos In Pericles’s Funeral Oration Speech

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 as its source 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