The Merchant's Tale 3 modes of cross-reference across the Tales. Investigate tales as dramatic performance. Explore in detail and death the relationship between teller and the story told. A lot in the Wife of Bath about voice of the teller. Story very much part of her and her performance. Merchant's Tale - string of stories spurred by assertive performance claim by Wife of Bath in her story.
Merchant refers explicitly and implicitly to her in his story. Linkage. He refers to marriage - struggle for autonomy and authority in marriage. Chaucer fascinated with - swings of power between protagonists in his stories.
Competitiveness Sense that larger plot structures are coordinated around Chaucer's mastery of language. Not just abstract structures but the way they " re worked out. Unsettles early conclusions. Particularly in gender stereotypes etc. Distinctive use of genre - shifts response to characters and meanings. Fabliaux - January - more grotesque than earthly.
If Miller's tale is a parody of courtly love - then Merchant's more corrosive, disillusioned cynicism of marriage. Different mode to Miller's Is woman a victim or a shrew? (manipulative underneath) Chaucer offers both - but they are conflicting - hard to make a decision. January - pathetic reaching out for illusions of what marriage may be Chaucer has introduced sympathy into the tale. Detachments in comeuppance of character. In Merchant's Tale, sympathy for John maybe but paradoxically there's pathos/ sympathy allowed for both characters. January's predicament.
More than comic disdain. Video - Deployment of interest and sympathy between couple. Voicing pf May -energy and voice - gives her a particular inflection. We see the space she has to inhabit especially after January goes blind.
Imprisonment. Much darker than Miller's Tale. Merchant shows his female character in a position which is psychologically imprisoned. Going around with an old man on the end of a piece of string because he's jealous. Chaucer takes trope of jealous old man and makes it worse therefore we see and understand May's position. Garden's relationship to Paradise - links in with disillusionment.
Marriage for January is a kind of paradise. Start.