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Document Type

Article

Peer Reviewed

1

DOI

10.17077/1536-8742.2114

Access Restrictions

Full text restricted to subscribers.

Abstract

Among its many elements, Chaucer’s “Squire’s Tale” includes an emotionally-charged dialogue between two aristocratic female figures: the human daughter of a king, Canacee, and the wounded falcon she meets in the wood. Scholars have debated the nature of this relationship in interspecial, gendered, and specifically feminist and ecofeminist terms. This essay provides a brief retrospective on some of the most recent scholarship examining their relationship—van Dyke (2005); Kordecki (2011); Crane (2012); and Schotland (2012 and 2015)—leading into a reassessment in two parts: first, that the affinity- and experience-driven bond these female figures develop supports a reading of this scene that is grounded in the largely unexplored theme of female friendship in medieval literature, and second, that the final scenes invite a fanciful reading of Canacee as a bird. This reading demands a new view both of the female characters, and of the Squire as narrator, in this tale.

Keywords

Geoffrey chaucer, Squire's Tale, Feminist criticism, gender studies, animal studies, ecocriticism

Rights Information

Copyright © 2018 Melissa Ridley Elmes

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