Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 6962
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Edden , Valerie.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Sacred and Secular in the "Clerk's Tale" [The author argues that Chaucer's addition of humanizing character elements to the story of Griselda renders it secular rather than strictly religious or exemplary. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 26, 4 ( 1992): Pages 369 - 376.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Clerk's Tale Exempla, Literary Genre Griselda (Literary Figure) Literature- Verse Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: The "Clerk's Tale" has been called an exemplum of patience. In this view Griselda's patience toward Walter, who is not a deity, but a cruel, vicious man, shows how much patience Christians should display toward God. The "Clerk's Tale" presents a more secular version of Griselda's story than that found in Petrarch. In the "Clerk's Tale," Griselda's primary concerns are earthly, not eternal. Moreover, she only calls on God twice, and the focus in the tale is on human vows, which prepares the reader for the Clerk's reference to the Wife of Bath. Comparison to Custance's response to God in her sufferings reveals the earthly concerns of the "Clerk's Tale." [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Birmingham
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1992.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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