- Chaucer and Chaucerians -
Kelly Remie – 3369889
“Know thyself first immortal,
And loke ay besyly thow werche and wysse
To commune profit, and thow shalt not mysse
To comen swiftly to that place deere
That ful of blysse is and of soules cleere.”
This excerpt from the Parliament of Fowls tells us how, n a dream vision, Africanus explains how to reach heavenly bliss after one’s death to his grandson, Scipio. However, later on in the poem the narrator of the Parliament of Fowls also has a dream vision. The excerpt provided for this assignment concerns itself with the narrator’s dream. The narrator’s dream can be divided into three parts: the gate, the description of the garden and temple, and the parliament itself. This particular part of his dream vision relates to the second part of his dream: the description of the garden and temple. On the surface both seem very beautiful and graceful, but when we take a closer look at the text that may not be the case.
The description of the garden centres itself around the theme of ‘locus amoenus’, which is Latin for ‘pleasant place’. From centuries ‘locus amoenus’ has been a literary theme which tells of a lovely landscape that is pleasant to linger in, often frequented by lovers. Both the imagery and literary creation of such a place seem akin to, for instance, a quest for a utopia, in which man would remain untouched by, for example, worry and ugliness.. This ‘locus amoenus’ was already an ancient theme in the 12th- and 13th century, when authors began preferring a more civilized, discreet and exclusive venue. As such, they adopted the theme of the ‘hortus conclusus’ or ‘enclosed garden’, which was an ideal earthly paradise. The theme of ‘locus amoenus’ had become too explicit (especially the part concerning the lovers) for the religious Medieval authors, thus enabling the rise of the...