1965 Studies in English Literature  
For many Chaucet students the Tkele of Mlrlibeas turns out after their patient and laboured reading to be a rather prolix and boring story with little attraction, and fbr a medievalist of profound learning and insight" as fbr example W. P. Ker, it suffers the extreme censure that it is " perhaps the wotst example that could be fbund of all the intellectual and literary vices of the Middle Ages...."i On the other hand, there ate still more Chaucer admiters who remain reluctant to extend their
more » ... erest to the story, if only because it has hardly anything to do with Chaucer's poetry, But after a long period of the general criticism of tacit negligence we have sevetal recent articles which, along with the ptecise source and manuscript studies, thfow new light upon the wotk and set.some value and meaning on it,2 The present paper intends to find out one of the meanings Chaucer would have given to this story in the frame of the thnterbay T2iles. With Meliheas alloted to the pilgrim Chaucer, a creation of the author Chaucer, the two petsonalities of Chaucer must be strictly discriminated. And any reference to Chaucer in this paper is definitely either to Chaucer the author or Chaucer the pilgrim. Evidently enough, at quite an eatrly stage of the danterhay Tlales compilation, Chaucet the author once assigned dethheas to the Man of LaJw. At least two remarks in the links of the Man of Laev's T}ile are considered to be retained traces of the assignment: the Man of Law's・ notice that " I speake in prose . . ." (II, g6) and Hatry Bailly's estimai E. P. Hammond, C;ea"cer : A Bibfiagraphical Mbnual (New Yerk, Tg33), p. 2go, quoting the introduction to the Chaucerian selections in vol. i of Craik's Etagzash Prose. 2 J. B. Sevets, ' The Tale of Melibeus ' in W. F. Btyan and G. Dempster, Searces and AnalZlgues of C;bacacer's (}interbacy TZiles (London, re-issued igsS). J. M. Manly and E. Rickert, T:ije 71ext ofthe C2xnlerbarpt Tbles (Chicago, rg4o). P. Hotson, " 11ije Tlale ofMefibeas andJohnofGaunt,"StadiesinPbilolt{sc" XVIII (ig2i), 42g-f2. G. Stinwell, " The Politicali Meaning of Chaucer's Adketibee," S]Pecalvm, XIX (ig44), 43i'44・ [T3]
doi:10.20759/elsjp.42.1_13 fatcat:epyzsjhamnhchnr4bf4fueucce