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Chaucerian ConflictLanguages of Antagonism in Late Fourteenth-Century London$
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Marion Turner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207893

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207893.001.0001

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Introduction: Chaucerian Conflict

Introduction: Chaucerian Conflict

(p.1) Introduction: Chaucerian Conflict
Chaucerian Conflict


Oxford University Press

This book is about discourse and the textual environment of London in the 1380s and 1390s: it is about the language of betrayal, surveillance, slander, treason, rebellion, flawed idealism, and corrupted compaignyes. Texts produced in and around late 14th-century London are everywhere informed by discourses of conflict and social antagonism. The book is interested in the ways that discourses function in different kinds of texts produced at the same time and in exploring how various texts engage with concepts of social fragmentation and breakdown. Geoffrey Chaucer's writings are a lynchpin of this book not because of their canonical status but because these texts are especially concerned with conflict and are unusually open about the impossibility of social amelioration. Thus, while examining discursive representations of social conflict in texts of the late 14th century, this book shows that pessimism about social possibility is everywhere apparent in Chaucer's texts: his writings are dependent on a heart of darkness at their very core.

Keywords:   Geoffrey Chaucer, London, social conflict, slander, treason, social antagonism, pessimism, flawed idealism, betrayal

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