Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 1978
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Parry , Joseph D.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Dorigen, Narration, and Coming Home in the "Franklin's Tale"
  • Source: Chaucer Review 30, 3 ( 1996): Pages 262 - 293.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Franklin's Tale Dorigen (Literary Figure) Franklin (Literary Figure) Honor in Literature Literature- Verse Narrative Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: Through Dorigen, the Franklin examines the physical world in detail, and through her the tale also explores disillusionment. The tale progresses inwardly, moving from a depiction of the outside world to an examination of the psyche. At the end of the tale, Dorigen drops out of the picture so that the story valorizes male honor. The last question is an attempt of the tale to assert "a measure of control over its own meaning" (271). Chaucer examines Dorigen's character in the time she spends at home defining herself by the exempla, taken from Jerome, that she recites. Dorigen accepts the definition of woman these stories present. The Wife of Bath, on the other hand, violently attacks such texts, rejecting the narrow definitions of women they propound. In light of the texts, Dorigen attempts to convince herself to die for her honor, thereby becoming a moral heroine. By continuing to recite narratives, she discovers a way to continue living in the tale and also to conform to male prescriptions of what her appropriate behavior should be. The places of rereading on the Franklin's part create gaps through which he himself emerges into his text. Both the Franklin and Dorigen employ narrative as a means of self-advancement. Dorigen's isolation in her home as she recites the tales creates a place from which she can speak [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: Brigham Young University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: