Framing the Canterbury Tales: Chaucer and the Medieval Frame Narrative Tradition


A clear emphasis on the literary antecedents of the Canterbury Tales differentiates this book from most criticism of Chaucer's work. Gittes finds a blending of two frame narrative traditions in the Canterbury Tales, one originating in India and the Near East, and the other in ancient Greece. She illustrates this dual tradition through comparison of Chaucer's work with selected Eastern and Western frame narratives from pre-Chaucerian and Chaucerian times. Covering material written in eight different languages, this book attempts to resolve some of the critical issues raised by scholars about the Canterbury Tales, including the organizing principle behind the Tales, their open-endedness, and the nature of Chaucer's ambiguity.


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