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The Knights Tale As Ethics: The Passions And The Ages Of Man

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Chapter Summary

In order to assess Duke Theseus's virtue in the 'Knight's Tale', we need an understanding of the extent to which he is able to use his reason to master his passions and to restrain his own emotions. For Giles, as for other medieval thinkers, reason, the virtues and the passions were located in different parts of the human soul. As a result, virtue itself could be seen in terms of a 'psychomachia', as a battle for control and for rightful order within the soul. A key issue for an understanding of the 'Knight's Tale' is whether, in adapting the Teseida, Chaucer retained - and developed - the moral allegory of the passions and the parts of the soul which Boccaccio had provided for his own work .

Keywords: Chaucer; Duke Theseus; Giles; Knight's Tale



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