Fragments I-II and III-V in The Canterbury Tales : a re-examination of the Idea of the "Marriage Group"

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


In this article I propose to change interpretive strategy and read the tales in Fragments I-II and III-V, not as a dramatic act, but as an ongoing discourse between Chaucer the ultimate narrator and the reader. In these fragments, Chaucer discusses marriage not in discursive terms but through an artistic handling of narrative materials. Therefore, we will examine how Chaucer treats the themes, characterization, plots, motifs, and images, and thereby get to know his ideas about different aspects of marriage and his attitudes toward different types of marriage. As we find out how Chaucer deliberately reworks and interweaves the recurrent themes, characterization, plots, motifs, and images in Fragments I-II and III-V, we will perceive the internal coherence of these fragments as Chaucer's sustained discussion of marriage with regard to its major aspects and types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-98
Number of pages19
JournalComitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes


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