Considering in detail one or two passages, explore the significance of magic in The Franklins Tale.

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Mikey Holder                English Literature-Chaucer

Considering in detail one or two passages, explore the significance of magic in ‘The Franklin’s Tale.’

You must

  • Look closely at effects of language and imagery;
  • Show that the relationship of the chosen passage(s) to the methods and themes of the tale as a whole

Without Magic, the Franklin’s Tale would have never unfurled in the way it does. The whole fact that Dorigen wants the rocks to ‘disappear’ suggests a magical element, and because the magic is successfully worked, this causes Arveragus to submit his wife to another man, permitting them to love each other. Magic is significant in The Franklin’s Tale, because if Aurelius had never succeeded in making the rocks disappear then Dorigen would have never had to be unfaithful to her husband. Chaucer links this underlying theme of magic with the theme of courtly love, and he employs metaphor and setting as mechanisms to condemn the fictions of courtly literature. More specifically, he reveals the dangerous power of literary texts to create and scatter harmful ideas of courtly love.

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I will consider lines 507-536, to explore, primarily, the use of magic, and integrate it with other themes such as courtly love. Line 507 opens up in a sombre mood, telling the reader that ‘they dede were’ about the brother’s former companions. The deaths of all these old friends can be taken as a warning of being immersed into a world of darkness and misery, in which people’ weepful ofte many a teere.’

The magician is then described on page 511, and this description was purposely included by Chaucer to allow the reader to compare and contrast the ...

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