How has Chaucer used poetic form, structure and language to express his thoughts and feelings in 'The Knight's Tale'?
Chaucer's use of language, form, and structure works to convey the details of different characters and the emotions surrounding them in a multi-faceted manor. For instance, Chaucer's heavy use of nature-oriented, romantic imagery when describing Emily imbues her character with a youth and vibrance, aided by the setting of 'a morn in May', already causing the reader's mind to contemplate Spring's themes of new life, of blooming botany. The description of how 'rose's colour strove her hue' both relates her to the Rose flower (perhaps suggesting a natural purity and delicateness) and the colour red. It could be argued that this association of the colour red with Emily was implemented by Chaucer as a way infusing her character with romance and passion, given Arcite and Palamon's revealed affection for her. Furthermore, it could be said that there is also a subtle undertone to Emily's associations with red (eventually coming to fruition with Arcite and Palamon's violence towards each other later in the story), though if this is true then it is somewhat underplayed given the maiden-like image of Emily we are more thoroughly presented with as she 'sauntered back and forth through each close'. In contrast to this chaste but romantic and verbose description of Emily, Arcite and Palamon are presented with no real defining differences between them mentioned in this extract. Both choose to speak using similarly dour and formal laments (and exclamations of “Alas!” and “Ah!”) that blanket the latter half of the extract, and in doing so make it difficult for the reader to distinguish between the characters' morals, hopes, and general personalities. It could perhaps be that by stripping the two men of their identities in such a way, Chaucer is commenting on the weariness of 'courtly love', and how this refined, aristocratic form of courting does nothing to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document