Article published in:Opening Windows on Texts and Discourses of the Past
Edited by Janne Skaffari, Matti Peikola, Ruth Carroll, Risto Hiltunen and Brita Wårvik
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 134] 2005
► pp. 199–213
Chaucer's narrators and audiences
Self-deprecating discourse in Book of the Duchess and House of Fame
Chaucer's narrator-persona has been a central theme in Chaucerian scholarship; the persona has traditionally been seen as a mask behind which the poet hides. Within this essay it is argued that the narrators of theBook of the DuchessandHouse of Fameare a type of social mask, and that by rhetorically employing and manipulating the social dynamic between himself and his real-world audience, Chaucer produces a narrator figure which will influence how his contemporary audience would perceive the poet outside the fictional world of the text.
Published online: 24 March 2005