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Lordship and LiteratureJohn Gower and the Politics of the Great Household$
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Elliot Kendall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542642.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2021

Retribution as Household Exchange in Genius's Tales

Retribution as Household Exchange in Genius's Tales

(p.194) 7 Retribution as Household Exchange in Genius's Tales
Lordship and Literature

Elliot Kendall (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter expands the previous chapter's discussion of attitudes to law and justice by investigating the politics of uncentralized, household-based dispute resolution in the tales of Confessio Amantis. There is discussion of writing as a technology of justice, and a livery ordinance of 1390 that is invested in the king's law offers a counterpoint to parliamentary livery complaint and Gower's poem. The chapter argues that Gower's tales promote a distinctly unofficial model of justice rooted in the great household but regulated by oppositions between public and private, lordship and ‘prive’ revenge, hall and chamber. There are extended treatments of the tales of Tereus, Mundus and Paulina, Constance, the False Bachelor, Tarquin and Aruns, Lucrece, Virginius, and Orestes.

Keywords:   bachelor, chamber, Confessio Amantis, great hall, great household, justice, king's law, livery, maintenance, Orestes

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