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The Knights Tale As Economics: The Good Rule Of The Household

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Chapter Summary

The recent critical focus on Chaucer's presentation of gender in the Canterbury Tales has meant that Duke Theseus's behaviour as a head of household has been central to modern scholarly debates about the meaning of the 'Knight's Tale'. A focus on the gender ideology of the 'Knight's Tale' is by no means anachronistic as a context for judging the virtue of Duke Theseus as a ruler. On the contrary, for medieval political theorists such as Giles of Rome the role of the ruler as head of household was crucial for the health of the body politic as a whole. Here Giles's outlook was in line with that of a long tradition of thought which, from Aristotle onwards, had presented man as a 'companable beest', as a social animal.

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



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