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Unformatted text preview: St. Gregory; Pope Innocent; Ovid; Cato; Seneca; and Cicero, to name only the most famous. In addition, local doctors, lawyers, prudent old men, hotheaded youths, and others join in, each quoting many proverbs. What makes the tale so long is that, every time a character speaks, he backs his opinion with as many quotations as he can think of on the subject at hand. The tale is, in fact, a quotation collection with a slight plot. Chaucer must certainly have realized that however serious this tale's purpose, the thing was almost comically long-winded — considerably longer than its French source ( Le Livre de Melibee et de Dame Prudence ). One authority on Chaucer describes the tale as a prime example of a literary vice of the Middle Ages — an essay abounding in dull, common-place clichés, forced allegory, and spiritless and interminable boring moralizing. Some scholars suggest this tale is a mischievous companion to Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topas....
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- Fall '11
- Middle Ages, The Tale of Melibee, Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topas, Dame Prudence