Date of Award

5-20-2011

Degree Type

Thesis-Restricted

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

English

Department

English

Major Professor

Marti, Kevin

Second Advisor

Verner, Lisa

Third Advisor

Gonzalez, Daniel

Abstract

The people of the Middle Ages believed animals were disconnected from themselves in terms of ability to reason and ability to resist passions. Humans and animals were created by God, but he bestowed man with a soul and the ability to resist earthly delights. When men were described in terms of their bestial counterparts it was conventionally meant to highlight some derogatory aspect of that character. Chaucer makes use of the animal-image throughout The Canterbury Tales, especially in "The Knight's Tale," to stress a break in each character from humane reason or to emphasize a lean towards a bestial nature. The degree of this departure is showcased in the ferocity of the animal-image in question and the behavior and nature of the character, i.e. the animals of a more timid nature or neutral standing highlight a much less negative nature than the ferocious predators present in the battle scenes.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation

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