Humours Estate Satire

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Humours Estate Satire

  1. 1. Humours & Estates satire Philology 1 week 4 September 2008
  2. 2. Characters in the Canterbury Tales <ul><li>General Prologue : a collection of portraits of stereotypes. </li></ul><ul><li>The pilgrims in the Prologue are types , not individuals, described according to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stock scientific conventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>astrological character </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>physiological make-up </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>literary genre of estates satire </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Physiological make-up <ul><li>The world is built out of the four contraries </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>hot ↔ cold moist ↔ dry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>which combine in the macrocosm to form the elements : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hot and dry fire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cold and dry earth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hot and moist air </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cold and moist water </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Contraries and Humours <ul><li>Humans were seen as microcosmic reflections of the larger world. Contraries combine in their bodies to form the humours . </li></ul><ul><li>He knew the cause of everich maladye, </li></ul><ul><li>Were it of hoot, or coold, or moyste, or drye, </li></ul><ul><li>And where they engendred, and of what humour . ( GP Portrait of the Physician ll. 419–21) </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Humours <ul><li>hot and dry (fire) -> yellow bile </li></ul><ul><li>cold and dry (earth) -> black bile </li></ul><ul><li>hot and moist (air) -> blood </li></ul><ul><li>cold and moist (water) -> phlegm </li></ul>
  6. 6. Complexion or Temperament The predominating humour determines the complexion or temperament of individuals: Phlegm -> Phlegmatic Yellow bile -> Choleric Blood -> Sanguine Black bile -> M elancholic
  7. 7. Choleric complexion (yellow bile) <ul><li>Tall and lean, r ed-haired </li></ul><ul><li>Good memory </li></ul><ul><li>Ambitious </li></ul><ul><li>Very nervous </li></ul><ul><li>Easily angered and angry for a long time </li></ul><ul><li>Vindictive </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely lecherous </li></ul><ul><li>( Canterbury Tales : the Summoner) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Melancholic complexion (black bile) <ul><li>Lean, thin but big eater </li></ul><ul><li>Bad sleeper </li></ul><ul><li>Introspective </li></ul><ul><li>Anxious or worried </li></ul><ul><li>Long angered </li></ul><ul><li>Fearful dreams </li></ul><ul><li>Sentimental </li></ul><ul><li>Scholars, villains, cynics, </li></ul><ul><li>(F riar John in the Summoner’s Tale ) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sanguine complexion (blood) <ul><li>Red-cheeked </li></ul><ul><li>Plump </li></ul><ul><li>Merry, sociable and generous </li></ul><ul><li>Easily angered but easily out of anger </li></ul><ul><li>Hopeful </li></ul><ul><li>Good sleeper </li></ul><ul><li>Sexually very active </li></ul><ul><li>( Canterbury Tales : the M iller, the Franklin) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Phlegmatic complexion (phlegm) <ul><li>White, pale </li></ul><ul><li>Fat </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive sleeper </li></ul><ul><li>Slow </li></ul><ul><li>Dull in learning </li></ul><ul><li>Cowardly </li></ul><ul><li>Not very interested in sex </li></ul>
  11. 11. Estates Satire <ul><li>Medieval literary genre which gives an </li></ul><ul><li>analysis of the vices and the follies of </li></ul><ul><li>certain social functions, professions (‘the </li></ul><ul><li>monk’, ‘the doctor’) not of individuals. </li></ul>
  12. 12. ‘ Non-moral Chaucer’ <ul><li>middle-class man employed at court; </li></ul><ul><li>trained as a clerk ( contemptus mundi ) but enjoyed life at court; </li></ul><ul><li>Traveller, cosmopolitan; </li></ul><ul><li>Soldier; </li></ul><ul><li>Great poet </li></ul>
  13. 13. The four voices in the Cantebury Tales <ul><li>Chaucer the poet </li></ul><ul><li>Chaucer the pilgrim </li></ul><ul><li>The conventional estates satirist </li></ul><ul><li>The other pilgrims </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Summoner Officer who carried summonses from an ecclesiastical court to a person charged to appear to answer for a number of offenses (witchcraft, usury, adultery, robbing churches,…) .
  15. 15. Chaucer’s Summoner (choleric) <ul><li>Angry for a long time: </li></ul><ul><li>Upon this Frere his herte was so wood (l. 1666) </li></ul><ul><li>Vindictive: takes revenge on the Friar with his prologue and tale </li></ul><ul><li>Good memory: parody of tale about the Cistercians </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely lecherous: </li></ul><ul><li>As hoot he was and lecherous as a sparwe (GP l. 626) </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Friar
  17. 17. Chaucer’s Friar (melancholic) <ul><li>gluttonous: orders a roasted pig's head </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 1841) </li></ul><ul><li>long angered: reaction to fart </li></ul><ul><li>an odious mischief / This day bityd is to myn ordre and me (ll. 2190 – 91) </li></ul><ul><li>cynic: news about the baby’s death (l. 1854) </li></ul><ul><li>opinionated: free interpretation of the Bible </li></ul><ul><li>Glosynge is a glorious thyng, certeyn </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 1793) </li></ul>
  18. 18. We sely freres wedded to poverte … <ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerned about money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chooses best seat in the house </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chastity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intimate with Thomas’s wife </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obedience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He wente his wey; no lenger wolde he reste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With scrippe and tipped staf, ytukked hye (ll. 1736-37) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nys nat a tyle yet withinne oure wones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By God, we owen fourty pound for stones. (ll. 2106-07) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Ire is a thyng that hye God defended <ul><li>Ire is a synne, oon of the grete of sevene </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>The frere up stirte as dooth a wood leoun </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 2152) </li></ul><ul><li>And forth he gooth, with a ful angry cheere </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 2158) </li></ul><ul><li>He looked as it were a wilde boor/ He grynte with his teeth, so was he wrooth (ll. 2160 – 61) </li></ul><ul><li>Unnethes myghte the frere speke a word </li></ul><ul><li>(l. 2168) </li></ul>
  20. 20. What is a ferthyng worth parted in twelve? <ul><li>Friars hidden under Satan’s tail (ll. 1689 – 98) </li></ul><ul><li>Lo. ‘buf’ … cor meum eructavit (l. 1935) </li></ul><ul><li>Unfinished state of the ‘ fundement ’ of the cloister (l. 2103) </li></ul><ul><li>Grope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tendrely a conscience (l. 1817) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>well behynde / there and heere (ll. 2141/2148) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Friar John receives the fart (ll. 2149 –51 ) </li></ul><ul><li>About the use of ars-metrike (l. 2222) </li></ul><ul><li>Cartwheel to distribute the present equally among the friars </li></ul>
  21. 21. Icons for Pentecost
  22. 22. John the Evangelist in ‘The Last Supper’ Often portrayed with his head in Christ’s lap (his “ nave” ) ‘ He lay at the breste of his maister Crist and saw there the prevytees of heaven’ ( Speculum Sacerdotale ) Friar John is entitled to the vulgar offering that Thomas hyd in pryvetee (l. 2143)

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