Literature and Religion in the Later Middle Ages: by Richard Newhauser, John A. Alford, Siegfried Wenzel

By Richard Newhauser, John A. Alford, Siegfried Wenzel

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Iff. calls "sen- Kermode then "My The plain sense why is it is Tale of a Cock" is not accessible to plain 4 common sense. " Luther believed that writer and speaker in heaven and earth," but we may well sympathize with Erasmus, who wanted to know "if it is all so plain, why have so many excellent men for so many centuries walked in darkness? "^^ Chaucer, in sum, freely accepts the letter literature, as without excluding the morality. " The other hand, like that of the tree of knowledge, is makes us turn away from Priest to pursue To "fruyt," on the forbidden, and the non-literal exegesis while inviting us it.

Chaucer's Ballade "To Rosemounde" In closing, I would emphasize paradigmatically that we should that I 2 3 have wanted to demonstrate be more reluctant to interpret or seeming exaggerations and incongruities real means of irony or parody. Instead, we might enhance our linguistic, stylistic, and critical competence by taking the evidence of contemporary usage more seriously than we as a usually do. Universitdt Mannheim PIERO BOITANI ''My Tale OTy of a Cock'' is The Problems of Literal Interpretation M Y concern in this paper will be with the problems of which arise out of the conflict between the literal sense on the one hand and the moral, allegorical, and anagogical ones on the other.

Tale Yet the Priest is is of a Cock" not finished. 3 5 He now adds the morali- ty, and then concludes with another bit of dazzling profundity, a last flash of Scripture: But ye that holden As of this tale a folye, cok and hen, Taketh the moralite, goode men. For Seint Paul seith that al that writen is, To oure doctrine it is ywrite, ywis; Taketh the fruyt, and lat the chaf be stille. a fox, or of a (VII, 3438-43). So, here not the is the audience's dilemma. This, the Priest silly, now tells us, A morality.

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