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Chaucer's Dante: Allegory And Epic Theater In The Canterbury Tales
by Richard Neuse
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Richard Neuse here explores the relationship between two great medieval epics, Dante's Divine Comedy and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He argues that Dante's attraction for Chaucer lay not so much in the spiritual dimension of the Divine Comedy as in the human.
Borrowing Bertolt Brecht's phrase "epic theater," Neuse underscores the interest of both poets in presenting, as on a stage, flesh and blood characters in which readers would recognize the authors as well as themselves. As spiritual autobiography, both poems challenge the traditional medieval mode of allegory, with its tendency to separate body and soul, matter and spirit. Thus Neuse demonstrates that Chaucer and Dante embody a humanism not generally attributed to the fourteenth century.
From the Inside Flap
"The most compelling demonstration to date of the role of the Comedy in the Canterbury Tales."--R. A. Shoaf, author of Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word
"Just about every chapter provides a reassessment of an important Chaucerian problem."--Winthrop Wetherbee, author of Chaucer and the Poets
From the Back Cover
"The most compelling demonstration to date of the role of the Comedy in the Canterbury Tales." (R. A. Shoaf, author of Dante, Chaucer, and the Currency of the Word)
About the Author
Richard Neuse is Professor of English at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston.
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