Chaucer's food basket : nature, sex and violence in The Canterbury tales

Du Preez, Gerhardus David (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the representation of food in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Canterbury Tales. The food and food culture of a specific time and place disclose particular kinds of information about the social conditions and ideology prevalent in a given historical moment. The representation of food can thus be used as a lens to explore and analyse a whole spectrum of explicit or concealed discourses within a text. Robert Appelbaum talks about food as a literary interjection – when a writer consciously or unconsciously inserts a food or food culture in a text to gesture to an aspect of social or psychological reality. In this thesis, the exploration of gastronomy as a literary interjection is divided into three chapters that deal in turn with the idea of nature, questions around sex and sin, as well as violence in chivalry – all in relation to culinary culture. Food is used, in particular, to discuss the ways in which Chaucer manages to create the effect, in The Canterbury Tales, of characters who are split between private and public selves. The main texts that are used for this purpose are The Franklin‘s Prologue, The Physician‘s Prologue, The Prioress‘ Prologue, The Nun‘s Priest‘s Tale and The Wife of Bath‘s Prologue. Concepts and theories that are integral to this analysis include the notion of the Seven Deadly Sins, Micheal Bakhtin‘s theory of carnival in Rabelais and his World, Edward Said‘s Orientalism and numerous other publications on food history. I argue, ultimately, that the use of food in The Canterbury Tales challenges and overthrows certain dogmatic ideas and ideals within the Late Medieval Period.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die voorstelling van kos in Geoffrey Chaucer se The Canterbury Tales. Kos en koskultuur van uit 'n spesifieke plek en tyd het die mag om die ware kleure van die menslike toestand en psige uit 'n bepaalde ideologie te ontbloot en te onthul. Die manifistasie van kos in 'n teks kan dus gebruik word as lens om 'n hele spektrum van diskoerse te ondersoek, bespeur en te analiseer. Roberbert Appelbaum verwys na kos as 'n literêre insetsel wanneer 'n skrywer/digter bewustelik of onbewustelik van kos of koskultuur gebruik maak om 'n onderliggende diskoers weer te gee. Die bespeuring van gastronomie as 'n literêre insetsel word in drie hoofstukke opgedeel wat handel oor natuur, seks en sonde as ook die geweld in ridderskap. In die hoofstuk oor natuur, byvoorbeeld, kom die ware natuur van karakters navore weens die literêre funksionaliteit van kos in die volgende tekste: The Franklin‘s Prologue; The Physician‘s Prologue; The Prioress‘ Prologue; The Nun‘s Priest‘s Tale en The Wife of Bath‘s Prologue. In hierdie analises word daar konstant van konsepte en teorië gebruik gemaak as verwyssingspunte of lense vir die analises. Dit sluit onderandere die Sewe Sondes, Micheal Bakhtin se teorie oor Karnaval in Rabelais and his World, Edward Said se Orientalism en verskeie publikasies oor kosgeskiedenis in. Die argument lei dat die gebruik van kos in The Canterbury Tales die dogmatiese idees en ideale van die Laat Middeleeuse Periode omvergooi en uitdaag. Dit onthul die dubbel-bestaan in die karakterisering van Chaucer se karakters en bring na die oppervlak die ware natuur van die mensdom in 'n tydperk waar religie en dogma menslike gedrag probeer beheer het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98546
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