Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3489
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Weisberg , David.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Telling Stories About Constance: Framing and Narrative Strategy in the "Canterbury Tales" [The author suggests we read the "Canterbury Tales" in terms of its "discourse on the frame" to better understand Chaucer's narrative organization, and uses the "Man of Law's Tale" to show how such a reading reveals nuances in character voice. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 27, 1 ( 1992): Pages 45 - 64.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Man of Law's Tale Custance (Literary Figure) Frame Stories, Literary Genre Literature- Verse Narrative Voice Women in Literature
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: For years, critics have unquestioningly accepted the "Canterbury Tales" as a group of framed narratives. In order to study any one of the tales itself, readers must determine what is outside the tale and must be excluded, and what is inside the tale and may be included. Such a distinction is not easily made, however, since the frame constantly determines readings of the tales without readers' recognition of its influence. The "Man of Law's Tale," for example, creates the voice of its teller. The tale itself functions as a frame for a variety of narratives that define Custance and determine what happens to her. The false tales told about her by those like Donegild appear false because readers perceive them against a background of the "true" story. In both the frame of the "General Prologue" and the frame of the "Man of Law's Tale," narrative acts are also narrative events. Though the frames are not exactly the same, the tales within them function the same way by delaying the progress of the frame narrative. Certainly the frame of the "Canterbury Tales" must be more closely examined [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1992.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002