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Parliament_of_FUNK - 4 October 2007 Professor B.G Harding...

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4 October 2007 Professor B.G. Harding ENG 3542-001 Geoffrey Chaucer’s short poem, “Truth” provides a mirror into Chaucer’s interpretation of truth and how it applies to the world. The Middle English dictionary defines truth (trouthe) as a “fidelity or constancy in love, devotion; also person… (Or a) genuine love.” Truth is also defined in Middle English usage as a fidelity to a sense of self, to God, or to others (MED). Both versions of truth are embedded within the texts of “Truth” and “Parliament of Fowls.” The short poem “Truth” is a lens into reading the various themes and claims contributing to Chaucer’s meaning of truth in the “The Parliament of Fowls.” “The Parliament of Fowls” conveys a similar moral and philosophical undertone to the poem “Truth” where Chaucer depicts the path of righteousness and truth to a dreamer. The “Parliament of Fowls” discusses the role of truth in an individual’s life and the importance of having a fidelity or constancy in love. “Truth” is a short poem written in rime royal. Chaucer employed rime royal specifically for poems or narratives conveying moral, ethical values, or religious issues. “Truth” is a philosophical moral tale shedding advice as the poem is also entitled, “Balade de Bon Conseyl” or the “Ballad of Good Council.” Chaucer provides the reader with his own vision of what is good advice for an individual in the pursuit and deliverance of truth. He bids his reader to “Flee fro the prees and dwelle with sothfasnesse” (ln.1). Chaucer is telling the reader to deviate and flee from the crowd and according to the Middle English Dictionary’s definition of sothfastnesse, dwell in “what accords with fact or reality, the truth” (MED). Sothfastnesse also is a form of stability
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and what Chaucer deems genuine or in accordance with reality. If an individual is able to rely on what is true, they are in a path of stability. Chaucer continues to contrast sothfastnesse with ticklenesse, instability in the line, “For hord hath hate, and climbing
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Parliament_of_FUNK - 4 October 2007 Professor B.G Harding...

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