The Old French and Chaucerian fabliaux : a study of their comic climax
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This study is about the comic structure of the fabliaux. The survival of approximately 160 Old French fabliaux, some in several versions and in different manuscripts, attests to their widespread popularity in the Middle Ages. Chaucer's fabliaux are essentially the same genre as the Old French fabliaux, and hence their humor is essentially the same. Our own enjoyment of them is in its own way quite refined and even analogous to certain spiritual experiences. In focusing on the comic climax of the fabliaux, I necessarily talk about their structure, which has its own function within the story regardless of what influenced it or caused it to be there and regardless of what it reflects.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Preparation for the climax: The showing -- Preparation for the climax The telling -- The comic climax -- Humor in the fabliaux -- Chaucer's fabliaux -- Conclusion.