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Scottish Chaucerians: Transforming and Reclaiming a Discarded Category

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Author: Mitchell, Christina
Advisor: Hagedorn, Suzanne C., 1968-
Committee Members: Conlee, John W.; Minear, Erin; Daileader, Philip
Issued Date: 5/11/2011
Subjects: Middle Scots
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/13682
Description: In recent scholarship of fifteenth-century Middle Scots poetry, critics have largely rejected the term "Scottish Chaucerians," arguing that the category implies mere translation or imitation of Chaucer's works. This paper, however, aims to explore the possibility that Chaucerian sources remain pivotal in the study of Middle Scots poetry, and offer an new definition of the term "Scottish Chaucerians" that reflects these poets' inventiveness. Through fresh readings of Robert Henryson's and William Dunbar's longer narrative poems, this paper will examine the way in which the Scottish "makars" engage with Chaucerian discussions of gender politics. Rather than merely imitating Chaucer, however, these poets revise and reinterpret his works according to their individual poetic aims. Thus, the category of "Scottish Chaucerians" becomes a term for the tradition-conscious innovation of Henryson and Dunbar.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in English

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