Abstract

Three urban spaces, the walls, cathedral, and tavern, define the representation of the medieval city, and serve in the Prologue to the Tale of Beryn as sites for the representation of fifteenth-century class tensions; these tensions are also embodied in the figure of the Pardoner. Specifically in the tavern, the character of Kit, a representative of the changing status of single working women, is a point of intersection between these class anxieties and related ones concerning gender. The Pardoner and Kit, both attempting to claim symbolic capital to which they are not entitled, may thus be understood as comic critiques of urban social transformations in class and gender as perceived in the fifteenth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4286
Print ISSN
0093-3139
Pages
pp. 52-76
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-13
Open Access
No
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