Chaucer's Ovidian Arts Of Love

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Overview

More than any other poet in Chaucer's library, Ovid was concerned with the game of love. Chaucer learned his sexual poetics from Ovid, and his fascination with Ovidian love strategies is prominent in his own writing. This book is the fullest study of Ovid and Chaucer available and the only one to focus on love, desire, and the gender-power struggles that Chaucer explores through Ovid. Michael Calabrese begins by recounting medieval biographical data on Ovid, indicating the breadth of Ovid's influence in the Middle Ages and the depth of Chaucer's knowledge of the Roman poet's life and work. He then examines two of Chaucer's most enduring and important works - Troilus and The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale - in light of Ovid's turbulent corpus, maintaining that both poems ask the same Ovidian question: What can language and game do for lovers? Calabrese concludes by examining Chaucer's views of himself as a writer and of the complex relations between writer, text, and audience. "Chaucer, like Ovid, saw himself as vulnerable to the misunderstanding and woe that can befall a maker of fictions," he writes. "Like Ovid, Chaucer explores both the delights and also the dangers of being a servant of the servants of love....Now he must consider the personal, spiritual implications of being a verbal artist and love poet."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813024899
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

 

Michael A. Calabrese is assistant professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles.  His works on Chaucer have appeared in Chaucer Review, Studies in Philology, and other journals.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Chaucer's Ovidian Arts of Love 1
Ch. 1 Clerks of Venus: Chaucer's Life of Ovid 11
Ch. 2 Love, Change, and Ovidian "Game" in the Troilus: Books I and II 33
Ch. 3 Change and Remedy: Books III, IV, and V of the Troilus 51
Ch. 4 New Armor for the Amazons: The Wife of Bath and a Genealogy of Ovidianism 81
Ch. 5 Exile and Retraction 113
Notes 131
Works Cited 155
Index 163
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