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Chaucer: The Electronic
Web Resources by Tale
Fragment II / Group B1
Additional Pages in The Electronic Canterbury Tales
Need Teaching Ideas &
Complete Online Versions of the
Canterbury Tales, Indexed by Tale
1. In Middle English
Read Chaucer's short lyric Trouthe (Representative Poetry Online, U of Toronto), embodying a chivalric value crucial to the Knight's portrait in the General Prologue:
2. In Modern English Translation
3. Historical & Cultural Backgrounds
The Crusades (Paul Halsall, IMSB) offers a full range of primary sources on the Crusader Era from Urban II's pivotal address in 1095 to the fall of Acre in 1291, including accounts of the Crusading Orders.
The Western Orientalism section of IMSB contains texts from Western European travelers as they describe the "exotic" lands of the East.
Knights, Warfare, Weapons, and Tournaments:
Steven Muhlberger (Nipissing U) has put together a very fine compilation of chivalric texts entitled, Deeds of Arms: A Collection of Accounts of Formal Deeds of Arms of the Fourteenth Century. These are, in fact, accounts of tournaments (in original languages and in translation) as opposed to fictionalized accounts. Included in the riches here are
Elizabeth Bennett (Princeton) has provided a facing page translation of Rene d'Anjou's traictié de la forme et devis d'ung tournoy. Bennett notes "The tournament book describes a style of tournament which René says he has adapted from the ancient customs of France and other countries. Although René describes this tournament in vivid detail, we do not know if such a tournament was ever held in the fifteenth century."
The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts has an extensive site that puts the meat and bones back into the romantic accounts of medieval warfare, and it's chock full of articles explaining and images illustrating forms of medieval combat and types of weapons. A rich site indeed that focuses on late medieval (and Renaissance) combat. See especially:
4. Sources, Analogues, & Related Texts
TEAMS Middle English Text Series (Russell Peck, URochester) houses a number of lesser known and hard to find medieval texts in helpful student editions. A generous and fascinating selection not to be missed! Each selection includes a scholarly introduction and full notes. Some of the selections related to the Knight's Tale include:
"All TEAMS texts are under copyright, whether in hard copy or in electronic form. The on-line texts provided here are meant for individual use only. To download and make multiple copies for course use, you must have permission from the managing editor of Medieval Institute Publications."
Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, from the W.V. Cooper translation. (London: J.M. Dent, 1902). A key text for understanding the Knight's Tale.
A brief summary of Andreas Capellanus' The Art of Courtly Love.
You'll find some helpful and interesting information at Middle English Romances: An Online Companion (S. Shepherd, SMU), the WWW site for the Norton Critical Edition of the same name.
5. Online Notes & Commentary
Discussion and links concerning the Knight's Tale on Larry D. Benson's superlative Geoffrey Chaucer Page (Harvard). Includes e-texts of scholarly essays, sources and ancillary texts, and capsule discussions of key issues. Some of the items related to the Knight's Tale include:
6. Online Articles and Books
Peer Reviewed Articles
Louise O. Fradenberg's Sacrificial Desire in Chaucer's Knight's Tale," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 27.1 (1997), 47-75 takes a Lacanian view of the KnT.
Helen Barr's "Chaucer's Knight: A Christian Killer," The English Review 12.2 (2001), np takes on the claim that the Knight was a mercenary. From Grover Wonderbrook's geocities.com website.
An important work of gender criticism in Chaucer studies is Elaine Tuttle Hanson's Chaucer and the Fictions of Gender (Berkeley: U of California P, 1992).
H. Marshall Leicester's The Disenchanted Self: Representing the Subject in the Canterbury Tales (Berkeley: U of California P, 1990).
Richard Neuse reads Chaucer through the lens of the great Italian poet Dante in Chaucer's Dante: Allegory and Epic Theater in The Canterbury Tales. (Berkeley: U of California P, 1991).
Charles Ross traces the courtly tradition in The Custom of the Castle: From Malory to Macbeth (Berkeley: U of California P, 1997).
Aldo Scaglione details a wide variety of knightly practices in Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from Ottonian Germany to the Italian Renaissance (Berkeley: U of California P, 1992).
Chaucer Sourcebook, from the Harvard Chaucer Page, offers a number of classic and professional essays from noted Chaucerians, including:
Sarah Stanbury, "Visibility Politics in Chaucer's Knight's Tale," from the Conference Proceedings of "Cultural Frictions: Medieval Studies in Postmodern Contexts," 27-28 October 1995. Cite as web document.
Chaucer's Knight, the Tale of Melibee, and the SocioHistorical Implications of Pilgrimage, from the very interesting website of Frederick Martin and his project Whitecrow Borderland, which is concerned with articulating a Native American cultural philosophy.
Essays in Medieval Studies, full-text articles from the proceedings of the Illinois Medieval Association, edited by Allen J. Frantzen (Loyola - Chicago).
Keeping in mind the Knight's portrait in the General Prologue and Theseus's grand tournament between Palamon and Arcite for the hand of Emily, see Steven Muhlberger's excellent overview of the knightly ethos in Fighting for Fun? What was at Stake in Formal Deeds of Arms of the 14th Century?
Thomas Honegger has written a sophisticated linguistic analysis in 'Yif me my love, thow blisful lady deere' : Forms of Address in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale (U of Zurich).
7. Student Projects
Matthew Markland, a student of Susan Yager (Iowa State) prepared a hypertext report on Chaucer's Poetry: The Boethian Poems, whose content is pertinent to the Knight's Tale.
Anniina Jokkinen's Essays and Articles on Chaucer includes a number of sample student essays, of varying quality. Like any other source, student essays must be evaluated rigorously, cited correctly, and used responsibly. Jokkinen also compiles a number of resources by Canterbury Tale: The Knight's Tale
Steven Mulberger's Select Bibliography on Medieval Tournaments (Nipissing U).
William Vincenti's Chivalry Bibliography (Montclair State U).
From Association for Renaissance Martial Arts: General Reference Books on Medieval Arms & Armor or Medieval Warfare
10. Images & Multimedia
See the Knight's Portrait from the Ellesmere Manuscript, one of the two earliest compilations of the Canterbury Tales (Huntington Library, San Marino, California).
From Association for Renaissance Martial Arts: Insights from Historical Sources features a load of images and "representations of foot combat from various sources of Medieval and Renaissance combat art" (11th-17th century)
11. Language Helps & Audio Files
Sample audio files (.wav, .au, .aiff) from the Knight's Tale, read by Alan T. Gaylord and recorded at Dartmouth College in 1994, are available from the Chaucer Studio (Paul Thomas, Brigham Young).
Warfare and armor, mostly from enthusiasts and hobbyists:
13. The Next Step
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This page was last revised on 12.04.06.