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Suggested Chaucer Topics

Having trouble chosing a topic for a final Chaucer paper? Here are some topics that make make a good starting spot. I have adapted the list from one Edwin Duncan posted on Chaucernet in the Spring term of 2003. Remember, these are topics only. It is your responsibility to create a thesis--an argument your paper will set out to prove or disprove.

Courtly Love and the Knight's Tale
Boethius and the Knight's Tale
The Knight's Tale and Astrology
The Knight and the Fourteenth-Century Christian Warrior
The Miller's Tale (or the Reeve's or Merchant's) and the Fabliau Tradition
Antifeminism and the Nun's Priest's Tale
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Medieval Attitudes about Women
Fidelity in Marriage in the Wife of Bath's Tale (or the Franklin's Tale)
The Role of the Wife in the Wife of Bath's Tale (or the Franklin's Tale or the Clerk's Tale)
Connections between a Pilgrim and the Tale that Pilgrims Tells
The Idea of "Quitting" in the Canterbury Tales
The Physician and the Bible
The Physician and Medieval Medicine
Alchemy and the Canon's Yeoman's Tale
The Prioress's Tale and Medieval Attitudes about Jews
The Medieval Church (or aspects thereof)
Medieval Clergy (Regular and Secular) and Chaucer's Religious Pilgrims
The Second Nun's Tale and Hagiography
Chaucer and Medieval Manuscripts
Medieval Pilgrimages
Thomas à Becket and the Shrine at Canterbury
Female Beauty in the Fourteenth Century
Masculinity in the Fourteenth Century
Female (or Male) Fashion in the Fourteenth Century
The Clerk (and/or the Miller's and Reeve's Tales Clerks) and the Medieval University
The Medieval University Curriculum
The Nun's Priest's Tale and Medieval Beast Fables
The Nun's Priest's Tale and Medieval Ideas About Dreams
The Bible and the Parson's Tale: The Seven Deadly Sins
Any One of the Seven Deadly Sins and One of the Canterbury Tales
Fourteenth-Century Food and Cookery
Medieval Rhetoric and the Canterbury Tales
Fragments and the Arrangements of the Canterbury Tales
Role of Kingship and Power
Classical influence and adaptation
Leisure Activities of the Noble Class and Chaucer's Aristocratic Characters
Class Struggles Between The Knight and Harry Bailey (or other pilgrims and characters)
Analogues to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
French Influences on Chaucer
Italian Influences on Chaucer
Latin Influences on Chaucer
Mythological Influences on Chaucer
The Senex Amans in Chaucer's Fabliaux


 

 

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