Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

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Though much has been made of Chaucer's saintly characters, relatively little has been made of Chaucer's approach to hagiography. While strictly speaking Chaucer produced only one true saint's life (the Second Nun's Tale), he was repeatedly intrigued and challenged by exemplary literature. The few studies of Chaucer's use of hagiography have tended to claim either his complete orthodoxy as hagiographer, or his outright parody of the genre. My study mediates the orthodoxy/parody split by viewing Chaucer as a serious, but self-conscious, hagiographer, one who experimented with the possibilities of exemplary narrative and explored the rhetorical tensions intrinsic to the genre, ... continued below

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v, 151 leaves

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Youmans, Karen DeMent May 1999.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 67 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Youmans, Karen DeMent

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Though much has been made of Chaucer's saintly characters, relatively little has been made of Chaucer's approach to hagiography. While strictly speaking Chaucer produced only one true saint's life (the Second Nun's Tale), he was repeatedly intrigued and challenged by exemplary literature. The few studies of Chaucer's use of hagiography have tended to claim either his complete orthodoxy as hagiographer, or his outright parody of the genre. My study mediates the orthodoxy/parody split by viewing Chaucer as a serious, but self-conscious, hagiographer, one who experimented with the possibilities of exemplary narrative and explored the rhetorical tensions intrinsic to the genre, namely the tensions between transcendence and imminence, reverence and identification, and epideictic deliberative discourse.

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v, 151 leaves

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  • May 1999

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  • March 26, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 8, 2016, 6:27 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Youmans, Karen DeMent. Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature, dissertation, May 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279341/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .