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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Chaucer and the Ethics of Time

A study of time in Chaucer’s major works.
 
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote at a turning point in the history of timekeeping, as mechanical clocks moved to the center of monastic life. As a result, many of his poems demonstrate a unique interest in time’s moral dimensions. Chaucer and the Ethics of Time examines the ethical tensions between one’s interior sense of time and external pressures of linearism and cyclicality in Chaucer’s major works. Attentive to both form and content, Gillian Adler offers fresh readings of many of Chaucer’s major works.


256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

New Century Chaucer

Medieval Studies


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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations 6

Introduction 7

1 Elegiac Time and the Pleasure of Forgetting in the Book of the Duchess 34
2 Seeing Time and the Illusion of Control in Troilus and Criseyde 62
3 ‘What may ever laste?’: Narrativising Transience in the House of Fame 108
4 The Process of Time in the Parliament of Fowls137
5 Nonlinear Time in Chaucer’s Frame-Narrative and the Wife of Bath’s Prologue160

Conclusion187

Notes195
Bibliography233

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