Paul Strohm’s

Paul Strohm’s - Dylan Douglas Professor...

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Dylan Douglas Professor Klien 07/10/09 Chaucer Critical Notebook 1 Strohm: Paul Strohm offers insights into the social and literary scene of England, with its specific community and audience, and this information that greatly supplement’s Chaucer’s subject. This knowledge reminds the reader that Chaucer didn’t write about a foreign, fictional, or futuristic subject. He wrote about his own late thirteenth century class. His “middle social grouping” and involvement in “customs collections” and “traveling” indicates to the reader just why he writes about pilgrims - a group of dominantly middle class citizens who continuously travel (3). Also, all of these citizens work together and contribute individually to society as a whole, or that is at least their ideal. The communities of this time were distinctly different from today and the effects of writings such as Chaucer’s is likewise so. I found it interesting that he did not have many manuscripts of his writing; in fact he “used the limited number of copies as texts for oral delivery” (13). I think this shows an elevated level of dedication, for he did not write his work and try to mass-produce it. He read his work out loud and directly to the reader, a very passionate practice to perform. He managed to affect his audience (all society) by composing poetry about what interested them (and most people) the most: themselves. I also found it interesting that Chaucer “rarely treats his poetry as a forum for the direct discussion of social issues.” He instead hides his conviction for the exposure of hypocrisy, with the skillful deploy of current character representations, embellished with flaws applicable to Chaucer’s present day concerns. He instead paints a beautifully detailed picture that has such issues in the background (14). By doing this, he created a kind of
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narrative in poetry. He collected and embellished archetypes that were
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Paul Strohm’s - Dylan Douglas Professor...

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