But the great poet only professes to express the thought that everybody has always had. The poem opens with a courtship which displays some striking features.
The line of dissent I wish to single out as most in accord with my own understanding of the Clerk's Tale is lucidly expressed by Donald Reiman. These writers were well-known for their antifeminist texts in the 14th century.
Jeffrey, 65— He has simply given us a slice of life—a well-observed, full-blooded portrait of a certain human type. Unfortunately this plan of simplification and popularity is interrupted by two problems, which can hardly be prevented from presenting a greater complexity.
Men say the obvious things about him; they call him the Father of English Poetry, but only in the sense in which the same title has been given to an obscure Anglo-Saxon like Caedmon.
It is the fundamental fact of being, as against not being; it is unthinkable, yet we cannot unthink it, though we may sometimes be unthinking about it; unthinking and especially unthanking. The logical, or rather illogical, process is perfectly simple and perfectly familiar.
Appropriately, he draws heavily on explicitly utopian passages in the Romance of the Rose. There is in the medieval poet something that can only be conveyed by the medieval word Largesse; that he is too hearty and expansive to conceal the connexion between himself and his masters or models.
To see the scope of this gigantic jest we must take in the whole position of the poet and the whole conception of the poem.