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Medieval Grammar and RhetoricLanguage Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300 -1475$
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Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199653782.001.0001

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John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390

John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390

Chapter:
(p.834) John Gower, Confessio amantis, 1386–1390
Source:
Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric
Author(s):
Rita Copeland, Ineke Sluiter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199653782.003.0053

This chapter discusses Confessio amantis, a poem composed by John Gower around 1386–1390. Confessio amantis is primarily based on the seven deadly sins, exemplified by a series of tales drawn from classical and medieval sources. Gower imposes a classification of knowledge on his material and elevates rhetoric from the status of an individual science to that of a governing epistemological category. The category of rhetoric encompasses the trivium. Gower also treats grammar and logic in a perfunctory manner.

Keywords:   poem, Confessio amantis, John Gower, seven deadly sins, classification of knowledge, rhetoric, trivium, grammar, logic

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