IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 327: Moral Behaviour and Literary Pleasure in Chaucer, Gower, and the Catechism

Monday 1 July 2013, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Department of English & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University / School of English, Queen's University Belfast
Organiser:Elisabeth Salter, Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Moderator/Chair:Ryan Perry, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS), University of Kent
Paper 327-aCrossing Borders: Morality and Landscape in John Gower
(Language: English)
Malte Urban, School of English, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Rhetoric
Paper 327-bThe Idea of the Sacred: The Moral Landscape of The Canterbury Tales
(Language: English)
Sarah McKeon, Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Philosophy
Paper 327-cVersified Catechism: Inbetweenity in the Moral Code
(Language: English)
Elisabeth Salter, Department of English Literature & Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life
Abstract

All three papers explore issues of morality and how these are expressed in specific texts or textual traditions. Urban’s paper examines the intersections between morality and landscape in the works of John Gower. Focussing mainly on Vox clamantis and Confessio amantis, the paper highlights the points where Gower combines the crossing of physical boundaries, often geographical, with moral dilemmas that his fictional personae have to address or even overcome. McKeon’s paper explores the ways that the idea of the sacred is constructed in and through Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, taking – offering a re-assessment of the systems of value and the place of the will in the spectrum of social codes pertinent to the non-religious and religious alike in the 14th century. Salter’s paper explores the role and uses of versified catechism and the ways that such moralising texts occupy spaces in and between didactic and fictive literatures.