Based on the evidence this section of the reading supplies, to what extent should Chaucer’s authorship be questioned?

The illustrators of many Canterbury Tales manuscripts seemed eager to perpetuate the appearance or notion of a single author, given Chaucer’s figure in their historiated initials. What reason might they have for maintaining the idea of a single author?

One thought on “Chaucer

  1. The beginning of this chapter really gave me a strange impression of Chaucer. He seemed incredibly narcissistic and much too eager to enforce the idea that this was his work and to create a lasting image for himself. Chaucer even hired his own scribe, one that would be “less negligent and hasty.” This could either point to the fact that Chaucer was incredibly dedicated to his work or that he eagerly sought fame for only himself.
    Despite his efforts, Chaucer’s meticulous attempts to create his masterpiece were thwarted by his death in 1400. The tales he had finished circulated individually, and not as a cohesive work. Therefore, when Chaucer died his finished work was free to be placed out of order and added to by other authors (Gower and Strode were among the authors that Chaucer’s stories were individually distributed to). Therefore, Chaucer might not have been the only contributor to the Canterbury Tales. Perhaps other others added to the work, but Chaucer’s previous efforts to establish his authorship shadowed their contributions.

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