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Reading the Allegorical IntertextChaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton$
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Judith H. Anderson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.001.0001

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Allegory, Irony, Despair: Chaucer's Pardoner's and Franklin's Tales and Spenser's Faerie Queene, Books I and III

Allegory, Irony, Despair: Chaucer's Pardoner's and Franklin's Tales and Spenser's Faerie Queene, Books I and III

Chapter:
(p.61) 4. Allegory, Irony, Despair: Chaucer's Pardoner's and Franklin's Tales and Spenser's Faerie Queene, Books I and III
Source:
Reading the Allegorical Intertext
Author(s):

Judith H. Anderson

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0005

The most complex and compelling interpretations of earlier texts are to be found in writers who imitate and revise, not only their content, but also their forms. Awareness of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale and especially of its “old man” is brooding and pervasive through much of Book I. It conspicuously and ironically involves the Redcrosse Knight's recurrent encounters with mirrors of himself that he fails to recognize and it also begins with the old man Archimango and climaxes in the related character of Despair. Chaucer referred to the restless wish of an old man to Augustinian despair, which is the inverse of pride, an abyss of guilt, self-tormenting, and self-destruction.

Keywords:   Chaucer, Franklin, Spenser, self-destruction, imitate, texts, despair, old man, self-tormenting

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