Abstract

Gower borrows from Chaucer’s legends of Cleopatra and of Thisbe in the Legend of Good Women. He copies Chaucer in a way similar both to how medieval readers gloss texts in their focus on keywords and to how scribes sometimes copy Chaucer by rewriting his text and flattening his poetry. This article proposes to detect literary borrowing through shared textual shapes and patterns, marked by keywords. It also suggests that Chaucer and Gower know that each adheres to different schools of source interpretation. With the phrase “moral Gower,” Chaucer describes Gower’s method of moralizing Ovidian texts—thus evoking the common locution “ethicus Ovidius” as well as the familiar work Ovide Moralisé. And when Gower praises Chaucer as the author of great love poetry, he refers to Chaucer’s persona in the Prologue to the Legend as a poet who adopts Ovid in a more literal, poetic, and courtly fashion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1528-4204
Print ISSN
0009-2002
Pages
pp. 46-65
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-09
Open Access
No
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