Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Johnson, Holly C.

Committee Member

Bentley, Gregory W.

Committee Member

Wolf, Richard B.

Date of Degree

1-1-2006

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

English

Degree Name

Master of Arts

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Abstract

Chaucer's fabliaux, particularly The Miller's Tale, The Merchant's Tale, and The Summoner's Tale, combine the crude humor associated with the genre with features of ?higher? genres, most notably the courtly romance tradition (for the first two tales), and the homiletic and scholarly debate traditions (for the last tale). The marriage of the scatology present in fabliaux with the characteristics of literary art is Chaucer's unique achievement and differentiates his tales from their analogues. This marriage occurs when characters of one class arrogate the types of discourse usually associated with another class. As a result of this discourse switching, the balancing of art and scatology in these three tales blurs the distinction between crudity and sophistication and makes the tales scatological art.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/18340

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