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Lordship and LiteratureJohn Gower and the Politics of the Great Household$
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Elliot Kendall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542642.001.0001

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Service Allegory: The Great Household in Genius's Confession

Service Allegory: The Great Household in Genius's Confession

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 Service Allegory: The Great Household in Genius's Confession
Source:
Lordship and Literature
Author(s):

Elliot Kendall (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542642.003.0004

The language of the great household operates in Gower's Confessio Amantis in manifold areas, including the metaphorical discourse of the confessional frame narrative. This chapter argues that the allegory of the deadly sins and vices, and the courtly love allegory of Danger, that structure the frame narrative are deeply informed by the great household imaginary. The metaphorical retaining of vices such as Parsimony, and the contest between Amans and Danger extend the poem's political dialectic between ‘reciprocalism’ and ‘magnificence’, strengthening the former. The imagination of Danger as a household chamberlain is analysed with reference to his heritage in The Romance of the Rose and parliamentary attacks on historical royal chamberlains, including Sir Simon Burley.

Keywords:   Amans, Burley, chamberlain, Confessio Amantis, courtly love, Danger, deadly sins, Gower, retaining, Romance of the Rose

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