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Medieval Grammar and RhetoricLanguage Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300 -1475$
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Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199653782.001.0001

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John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390

John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390

(p.834) John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390
Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric
Rita Copeland, Ineke Sluiter
Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Confessio amantis, a poem composed by John Gower around 1386–1390. Confessio amantis is primarily based on the seven deadly sins, exemplified by a series of tales drawn from classical and medieval sources. Gower imposes a classification of knowledge on his material and elevates rhetoric from the status of an individual science to that of a governing epistemological category. The category of rhetoric encompasses the trivium. Gower also treats grammar and logic in a perfunctory manner.

Keywords:   poem, Confessio amantis, John Gower, seven deadly sins, classification of knowledge, rhetoric, trivium, grammar, logic

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