Kingship and Common Profit in Gower's Confessio Amantis

Kingship and Common Profit in Gower's Confessio Amantis

by Russell A. Peck
     
 

Confessio Amantis, the principal work in English by John Gower, friend of Chaucer, by whom he was influenced, has always been read as a conventional poem about the seven deadly sins. Here, paying particular attention to the poem’s language and style, Peck gives a brilliant new reinterpretation which not only illuminates the poem’s elegant

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Overview

Confessio Amantis, the principal work in English by John Gower, friend of Chaucer, by whom he was influenced, has always been read as a conventional poem about the seven deadly sins. Here, paying particular attention to the poem’s language and style, Peck gives a brilliant new reinterpretation which not only illuminates the poem’s elegant beauty but provides a profound moral purpose as well.

Gower’s Confessio, according to Peck, is a restatement of late fourteenth-cen­tury ideas of good and bad behavior, and is designed to illuminate and re­shape the minds and hearts of men.

Peck sees the concepts of “kingship”—the governance of souls as well as king­doms—and “common profit”—the mutual enhancement of such king­doms—as the poem’s unifying ideas. Peck’s discussion further shows how the various tales hold together and support the poem’s loose plot and the poet’s strongly moral intention.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809308019
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
10/01/1978
Series:
Literary Structures Series
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1280L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Russell A. Peck is Professor of Eng­lish at the University of Rochester.

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