Chaucer and Array: Patterns of Costume and Fabric Rhetoric in The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde and Other Works [Hardback]

Laura F. Hodges (Author)

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ISBN: 9781843843689 | Published by: Boydell & Brewer | Year of Publication: 2014 | Language: English 254p, col pls

Chaucer and Array


An analysis of the ways in which Chaucer uses details of costume, clothing and fabric, enhancing our understanding of and shedding fresh insights into his work.

The use Chaucer made of costume rhetoric, and its function within his body of works, are examined here for the first time. The study explores Chaucer's knowledge of the conventional imagery of medieval literary genres, especially medieval romances and fabliaux, and his manipulation of rhetorical conventions through variations and omissions. In particular, it addresses Chaucer's habit of playing upon his audience's expectations, derived from their knowledge of the literary genres involved - and why he omits lengthy passages of costume rhetoric in his romances, but includes them in some of his comedic works, It also discusses the numerous minor facets of costume rhetoric employed in decorating his texts.

Chaucer and Array responds to the questions posed by medievalists concerning Chaucer's characteristic pattern of apportioning descriptive detail in his characterization by costume. It also examines his depiction of clothing and textiles representing contemporary material culture while focusing attention on the literary meaning of clothing and fabrics as well as on their historic, economic and religious signification.

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