• The Ethics of Mourning: The Role of Material Culture and Public Politics in the 'Book of the Duchess' and the 'Pearl' Poem

    Author(s):
    Tarren Andrews (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Chaucer, Death, Death in literature, Literature and community, Materiality, Medieval literature
    Item Type:
    Thesis
    Institution:
    University of Montana
    Tag(s):
    Grief, Pearl Poem, The book of the duchess
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M67G1H
    Abstract:
    Chairperson: Dr. Ashby Kinch This project is a socio-historic analysis of two late 14th century dream visions: Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess and the Pearl poem. Utilizing Robert Pogue Harrison’s concept of objectifying grief through ritualized communal mourning, this thesis examines the ways in which mourning literature functioned as consolatory device, and a form of public performance for the powerful patrons who commissioned the pieces. By engaging with pre-existing communities of grief, material culture, and courtly discourse these poems perform the work of mourning while simultaneously enacting modes of public performativity that stress the ethics of grieving, and suggest that, for royal patrons, it is imperative for the stability of the commonwealth that they respond appropriately to loss. In performing the work of mourning the texts advocate for a unity between public and private selves, enacting the principle that for a great leader the private is always public.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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