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Introduction - The Knights Tale In Context

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Chapter Summary

The critical debate about the 'Knight's Tale' raises the question of how Chaucer's work should be positioned in relation to the political culture of the late fourteenth century. In the case of the 'Knight's Tale', exactly the same text has been be cited by those who are authorities in the field to support three mutually exclusive interpretations of Chaucer's meaning. This book seeks to convince its audience that reading the 'Knight's Tale' in the context of medieval mirrors for princes allows us to arrive at a persuasive interpretation of the tale. One alternative to this view would simply be to accept - or even to celebrate - the fact that literary critics do not have agreed standards of what counts as a plausible reading and so are unlikely, through debate and disagreement, to arrive at the kind of consensus which scholars in other academic disciplines normally regard as the precondition of long-term intellectual progress.

Keywords: Chaucer; Knight's Tale



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