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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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What Comes After Chaucer's But in The Faerie Queene

What Comes After Chaucer's But in The Faerie Queene

(p.42) 2. What Comes After Chaucer's But in The Faerie Queene
Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Judith H. Anderson

Fordham University Press

Talbot Donaldson's article examines how the illogical use of but in Chaucer's Prologue indicates the pressure of a mind. The article is further evidence of the presence of a dramatic person in The General Prologue, although Donaldson resolutely avoids making claims explicitly about it. The recurrence of logical and illogical but, whether conjunctive or propositional, is an intensification of Chaucerian practice in The General Prologue. The recurrence of but and other syntactical construction with increasing subjectivity has never seemed significant to the readers of Spenser. But in the Prologue expresses an illogical or ambiguous relation between one aspect of human behavior or appearance, while in Proem it expresses a similar relation between an antique ideal “forgerie” of present time. In both works, the syntax indicates a dynamic, developing process whether it is a visual and narrational process or a visionary and self-expressive one.

Keywords:   Talbot Donaldson, Chaucer, Spenser, syntax, human behavior, Proem, logical, illogical, but, The Faerie Queene

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