Bereavement in Book of the Duchess Essay

Bereavement in Book of the Duchess Essay

Length: 743 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From the beginning Chaucer's narrator is effeminized by his sympathetic identification with Alcyone:

Such sorwe this lady to her took

That trewely I, which made this book,

Had swich pite and swich rowthe

To rede hir sorwe, that, by my trowthe,

I ferde the worse al the morwe

After, to thenken on her sorwe (95-100).

On line 13 "Always in point to falle a-doun" the narrator's delirium obviously mirrored Alcyone's swoon following her prayers "And fil a-swown as cold as stone" (123). Both the narrator and Alcyone bargained with pagan deities for rest, and within the dream both failed to recognize what the reader already knew: that a missing spouse was dead. The knight was also similar to Alcyone. His story, that of a faithful, grieving spouse was essentially the same as Alcyone's.

From the narrator's first description, the knight was immediately put in the role of courtly lover and poet. In that role he was physically "Of good mochel, and young therto, Of the age of four and twenty yeer, upon his berde but little heer" (454-56) and mentally- illustrated by his gentile manners and passive approach to the narrator- "He sayde, `I prey thee, be not wrooth, I herde thee not" (519-20) feminized. The initial voyeuristic "soothe to say he saw me nought" (460) meeting in the forest between the narrator and the knight was very interesting in light of the class discussion regarding what to do if you find a maid in the forest. What was Chaucer saying by placing the very feminine young boy alone in a very unmanly situation? Which brings to mind another question: How does the courtly lover evolve into a noble, benevolent husband?

After the knight firmly di...


... middle of paper ...


...f servitude "Al this I putte in his servage... And worship to my lady dere, `And this was longe, and many a yeer'" (769, 74-75). Similarly, John of Gaunt would have been, by the death of his Blanch, freed of certain responsibilities. Chaucer may have intended to offer consolation not because of the woman death but through her death, that is, death served to restabilize and delineate the role of the sexes. Clearly Chaucer's message was that effeminizing behavior did not become men; there was the hunt to rejoin "And with that worde, right anoon, They gan to strake forth" (1311-12), the steed to be mounted "This king gan quickly hoomward for to ryde" (1314-15), and the home to be returned to "A long castel with walles white" (1318). As dutifully as Alcyone died, the male characters, as well as John of Gaunt, were to dutifully carry on the divine gift of manhood.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Transformation of Chaucer’s Narrator in the Book of the Duchess Essay

- A dream vision is a widely utilised literary device that provides an author with an avenue to explore the intricacies of the subconscious mind that effectively allows for its narrator to overcome some obstacle that seemed to be insurmountable prior to entering into the dream. In other words, the dream vision acts as an allegoric representation of the subject’s waking life and, in moving through the dream, is able to overcome the hurdle that lay before him previously. As a result, although being faced with a philosophical or moral dilemma, the narrator of a dream vision gains the ability to move on and conquer their ailments....   [tags: Book of the Duchess Essays]

Good Essays
2302 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about Poetic Balance in Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess

- Chaucer, the medieval English poet who lived from 1345 to 1400, lived through five major outbreaks of the plague, the Black Death -- from which, the swish of Death's scythe was heard for generations. The first of these outbreaks occurred when Chaucer was young, and between the years 1348 and 1350. The first plague was the hardest hitting, killed about one-third to one-half of those living in London (Ibeji). The third of these outbreaks, in 1369, struck royal blood: King Edward's wife, Philippa of Hainault, and John of Gaunt's wife, Blanche -- who was 28 at the time....   [tags: Chaucer Book of the Duchess]

Good Essays
2595 words (7.4 pages)

The Book of the Duchess, the Parliament of Fowls, and the House of Fame

- The Book of the Duchess, the Parliament of Fowls, and the House of Fame The Parliament of Fowls and the House of Fame are closely related to each other and to the Book of the Duchess, as all three of the poetry share several similar themes. Written between 1368 and 1380 they are some of Chaucer’s earliest works in which aspects of some of the great writers of his time are evident. There are three major themes intertwined within the three works, which Chaucer has added to the Dream Vision genre....   [tags: Book of the Duchess Essays]

Good Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)

The Book of the Duchess as a Chaucerian Consolation Essay

- Parallel Between Poet’s Insomnia and Knight According to the medieval dream theory and its classification system, the dream experience by the poet in The Book of Duchess seemingly belongs to that variety wherein the impression and concerns of the previous day are recycled during sleep (Macrobius 88-90). The poet’s own feelings of lethargy, in combination with particular motifs from the story of Ceyx and Alyzone, manifest itself into the externalized form of the grief-stricken knight. Therefore, the knight’s state of mind is foreshadowed in the sorrow of Alcyone and in the strange insomnia experienced by the poet....   [tags: poet’s insomnia and the knight’s grief]

Good Essays
2014 words (5.8 pages)

Troilus And Criseyde And The Book Of The Duchess Essays

- Geoffrey Chaucer has successfully developed several themes which are seen throughout his works. Although the literary techniques that Chaucer uses are not his own, these themes which reoccur are in the one of a kind style which defines Chaucer's works. In both Troilus and Criseyde and The Book of the Duchess, the characters of Troilus and the Black Knight go through heartache and sorrow because of a love they once had but both lost. Both characters are young and naive when it comes to matters of the heart and leave their fate in the hands of Cupid and Fortune....   [tags: Chaucer Geoffrey]

Good Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

The Book Of The Duchess By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, The Book of the Duchess, tells of a sleep-deprived man (the dreamer) who is looking for a cure for his anxiety. Although we do not definitively know the cause of his illness, we are led to believe it is because of love-sickness. In order to pass the time one night, he reads a book about King Seys and his wife Alcyone. In the book, King Seys is lost at sea, and once Alcyone discovers this, she too dies from grief. After finishing the book, the dreamer falls asleep and enters into the most wonderful dream that has ever occurred, according to him....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Masculinity, Woman]

Good Essays
1874 words (5.4 pages)

The Duchess of Malfi: A Character Study Essay

- Webster based his plot on a true story set in Italy, a story that has as central themes inequality, injustice, and corruption. In my opinion one of the best techniques that Webster used to transmit these themes was to make the characters appear to be something that they are not. Furthermore, all the important characters of the play have both good and bad sides, and some of them (Cardinal) are “bad” but appear to be “good”. This contrast between good and bad and the changes of personality, help the author to build a play full of tragedy and therefore this maintains the reader’s attention focused on the play and anxious to see what is going to happen next....   [tags: The Duchess of Malfi]

Good Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Consolation in the Book of the Duchess by Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Consolation in the Book of Duchess In “Book of the Duchess,” Geoffrey Chaucer draws close parallels between the poet’s insomnia and the Knight’s grief. In showcasing the Knight’s complete lack of interest in the hunt, coupled by his general lethargy, Chaucer effectively parallels the Knight’s apathy to that experienced by the Narrator himself and his own feelings of loss of energy and enthusiasm.. The Chaucerian consolation in “The Book of Duchess,” seeks only to revitalize its suffers, and offers very little thorough investigations into the roots of the Narrator’s and the Knight’s prolonged state of despairs....   [tags: literary analysis]

Good Essays
1933 words (5.5 pages)

The Duchess of Malfi Essay examples

- The principal characters and their roles We follow after bubbles, blown in th'air. Pleasure of life, what is't. Only the good hours of an ague The Jacobean age was one of questioning and uncertainty about many issues, such as religion, politics and law. At the same time it was rediscovering the potency of Classical texts of Rome and Greece, and reinterpreting tragic form to suit its own ends. The Duchess of Malfi is a revenge tragedy, but Webster has used the form for much more than just its entertainment value; he has used it as a vehicle for the exploration of some themes relevant to the society of his time....   [tags: Duchess of Malfi Webster Papers]

Good Essays
2605 words (7.4 pages)

Grief and Bereavement Essay

- Grief and Bereavement CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 Crisis involved with loss of other human being is the intensive of all types of crises. This paper I will be talking mainly about grief through people loss, as it is something, which happens suddenly, and which can also lead into intense grief. In this paper I want to also talk about how we as a Christian and especially as a pastor will be able to cope with or help a person that is undergoing this grief situation....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Good Essays
2476 words (7.1 pages)