February 16: Julian of Norwich

In chapter 60 of “A Revelation of Love,” Julian of Norwich calls Jesus “our mother.” How does she compare the way that a mother feeds a child and how “Mother Jesus” feeds us? What do you think about this comparison? (i.e., does it differ from current views of Jesus, do you think that this view of hers has anything to do with her being a woman, etc.)

Feb. 16 – Julian of Norwich

In Chapter 51, Julian of Norwich describes an example that God has shown her of a lord and his servant, meant to mirror the relationship of God and Adam, the representation of al men. How does Julian interpret this vision? How does she believe that God views all men, and how does she view her particular relationship with God? Does this revelation make an impact on her overall interpretation of God in later chapters?

February 11: The Wife of Bath’s Tale

The Wife’s tale comes to an end as the old lady magically transforms into a fair maiden and the rapey knight’s wish comes true. In this arrangement as the hag puts it, “thannee have I gete of yow maistre,” (1237), reinforcing both the prologue and tale’s message of female authority. How do you interpret Chaucer’s use of the untraditional women as a protagonist? How would these values be received by both the clergy and state?

Feb 11 The Wife of Bath Tale

In the Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer tells a traditional story of a knight sent on a quest for a year and a day to find what women desire the most in the world. However, there are several segments in this tale that differ drastically from the literary norms of the time. What are they? How do these differences in traditional storytelling affect the story’s message?

Feb 9: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

In the prologue of the Wife’s tale, our narrator tells of her experiences in multiple marriages. While she complains of her past husbands’ tendency to be possessive what trait of her fifth husband changes her traditional role as spouse? What impression do you take from her ensuing behavior (i.e reliability as a narrator, moral compass) as she describes her final husband? How does Chaucer offer an opportunity to scrutinize the institution of marriage by telling this story from the wife’s point of view?  



Feb. 4: The Miller’s Tale

John was pretty critical of Nicholas and of his studying astronomy. He even says at one point that “men sholde nat knowe of Goddes pryvetee” (346). However, John then goes on to fall for the trick that Nicholas pulls on him (all of which is based on Nicholas’ astronomical “discoveries”). Does John deserve what happens to him ultimately?