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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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Idealism and Antagonism: Troynovaunt in the Late Fourteenth Century

Idealism and Antagonism: Troynovaunt in the Late Fourteenth Century

(p.56) 3 Idealism and Antagonism: Troynovaunt in the Late Fourteenth Century
Chaucerian Conflict


Oxford University Press

The ideological concept of civic progress, manifested in the Janus-like image of New Troy, was a potent sociopolitical tool in late 14th-century London. This chapter examines the ways in which civic idealism functions in texts produced in London in the last two decades of the 14th century, and in the ways in which different texts deal with the problem of civic antagonism while deploying the idea of Troynovaunt. The ideas of civic idealism and their inevitable breakdown are considered by analysing the ideology of New Troy and the depiction of the fragmentation of this idealised city in the poetry of John Gower, Geoffrey Chaucer, Richard Maidstone, and the author of St. Erkenwald. One area of interest is the slippage between the concepts of treason and of peace-making.

Keywords:   civic idealism, civic antagonism, London, poetry, New Troy, treason, Geoffrey Chaucer, Richard Maidstone, John Gower

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