Download A Distinction of Stories: The Medieval Unity of Chaucer's by Judson Boyce Allen PDF

By Judson Boyce Allen

ISBN-10: 0814203108

ISBN-13: 9780814203101

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Extra info for A Distinction of Stories: The Medieval Unity of Chaucer's Fair Chain of Narratives for Canterbury

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Per retexionem vero sicut fit dissolutio in quolibet corpore et hoc sine semine, et hec quantum ad elementa et ad yle. Yle est nature vultus antiquissimus generationis virtus indefessus formarum prima subiectio materia corporum substantie fundamentum. Elementa sicut fit quando terra rarescit in aquam, aqua levificatur in aera, aer sub­ tiliatur in ignem. Item ignis spissatur in aera, aer grossificatur in aquam, aqua conglobatur in terra. Et hinc mutatio est naturalis de qua facit men­ tionem pictagoras dicens: quattuor etternus genitalia corpora mundus continet, etc.

Philosophus quidam fuit qui cognita subtilitate herculis qui docuit terram esse tripartitam quam dedit intelligi per cerberum. Unde fingitur cerberum traxisse ab inferis desperavit post herculem nichil philosophicum dicere et stupore percussus destitit a sensu. Unde in lapidem fingitur esse mutatus" (fol. lOlr). ("This change is moral. Its allegory is thus: he was a certain philosopher who under­ stood the subtlety of Hercules (Hercules taught that the earth was tripartite and let this be understood by Cerberus, and so it is imagined that he dragged Cerberus out of Hell) and after Hercules despaired of saying anything philosophical and became depressed and out of touch with reality.

Thebes is the city of pat­ ricide, bad marriage, fratricide, civil war, and sacrilege; from the 26 / A Distinction of Stories example of Thebes mankind is instructed in every possible disorder. Theseus apparently meets the test, as he and his army conquer Thebes, permit the obsequies of the dead, and arrange for the cus­ tody of Palamon and Arcite. Thus, as ruler of Athens, husband of Hippolyta, and conqueror of Thebes, Theseus has ordered his world. 68 As long as we do not lose Theseus himself, Athens, Thebes, or the two ladies in all this, such analogy-making is both permissible and informative; Plato's Re­ public, which the Middle Ages knew indirectly through the Timaeus, is powerfully based on just such an analogical instrument of analysis.

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