How did you go about doing your research for the maudlyns and the way they spoke and acted throughout the novel? What information did you find difficult to access? What would be your recommendations for trying to balance the historical accuracy along with a complex plot line?
Why did you choose to have the main character be Gower instead of Chaucer or an original character?
Holsinger needs to change some things about history, such as a book of prophecy and a murder plot, to make his novel work. Knowing what you know about history, do you feel that Holsinger works with history well enough to create a good book while remaining historically accurate?
At this point in the story, what might be some potential outcomes for the ending of this novel? Does the king’s prophecy seem to be certain at this point or will the right person/people find a way to change it?
So far in the novel, we have learned a bit more about Chaucer’s character in A Burnable Book. Knowing what we know about his life, do you think this is an accurate picture of Chaucer? Do you think it falls short? Is it true? Explain.
What can be interpreted from the Pardoner’s ability to tell an effective moral tale while himself being guilty of the sins he condemns? How do you believe we are supposed to interpret the Pardoner’s offer (904) of salvation in return for money or precious items?
There are recurring themes in the Franklin’s Tale involving pledges, promises, freedom and submission. Most of the characters are bound to each other in some capacity. Compare and contrast a relationship between characters who seem to engage with one or more of these themes. In what ways do they show this?
In class, we often discuss how each character’s prologue influences their tale, or position it as a reflection of their beliefs. How is the Wife of Bath’s Tale related (or unrelated) to her ideas about the perfect marriage or just marriage in general?
How does what Dinshaw describes of the way medieval glossing worked help her to interpret the Wife of Bath’s performance in the Prologue? What is the interpretation Dinshaw comes up with as a result?
The wife admits that many great Fathers of the Church have proclaimed the importance of virginity, such as the Apostle Paul. But, she reasons, even if virginity is important, someone must be procreating so that virgins can be created. Leave virginity to the perfect, she says, and let the rest of us use our gifts as best we may. How would the audience of the time think of this statement compared to a more contemporary response?