Philosophical Chaucer: Love, Sex, and Agency in the Canterbury Tales

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-29
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Chaucer and the problem of normativity
Naturalism and its discontents in the Miller's Tale
Normative longing in the Knight's Tale
Agency and dialectic in the Consolation of Philosophy
Sadomasochism and utopia in the Roman de la Rose
Suffering love in the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
Love's promise: the Clerk's Tale and the scandal of the unconditional
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