Young Chaucer

It is interesting how intricately woven together each story is to another. In the beginning of The Book of the Duchess, Chaucer presents different dreams inside of a larger story but strings them together in a way that flows smoothly. Although I am not exactly sure of the point of the shifts, it is nicely done for a young Chaucer.

I also want to note that as the stories shift, there is a contrast between chaos as beauty presented. The first time I noticed this was on page 14 as the narrator describes a beautiful nature scenery and songbirds, which is then interrupted by a deer hunt with knights on horse back and hunting dogs running through the woods, that he soon joins. After tiring of the deer hunt the narrator again illustrates a nature scene of perfect greenery with all types of deer, squirrels, and other beasts of the countryside, just before presenting a more melancholic scene of the knight in black lamenting the loss of his lady. In these few pages the narrator takes us on a small emotional journey. Where beauty is juxtapose to chaos and loss. The beauty in some way offering the reader a kind of relief from the sense of loss constantly presented throughout the dreams and the narrator’s own insomnia.

It’s interesting to see young Chaucer at work in comparison to The Canterbury Tales. I hesitate to say that this story is more fun in the way that it is presented. But then if I read The Canterbury Tales now I may have a newfound appreciation for it.

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