Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Week 3: Pardoner's Tale & the Retraction

Here's the final study guide for the Canterbury Tales. I've updated the last two items and also very briefly addressed some overarching themes; finally, I added one and a half pages of questions from previous MA exams to help us think about the diverse ways we can approach the CT.

I'm most interested in continuing to explore the interactions between genre, narration & theme. The Canterbury Tales is an ideal place to do so as rival interpretations are presented and discarded, all within the wider control of a single narrator and a powerful author. Furthermore, not just the themes of a storyteller are adapted, but also the very genres themselves are pushed, played with, questioned, subverted and so forth. Even further (!), the frame narrative offers a deeper insight into each character, sometimes clarifying and other times mystifying the conclusions we might draw. These multiple levels provide ample opportunities for us to delve into that tricky category we've been avoiding!

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