“Charity Refused and Curses Uttered in Chaucer’s Friar’s Tale”
Hortulus, Vol. 4, No. 1, (2008)
This article illustrates how the widow from Chaucer’s Friar’s Tale closely resembles the hag figure of the witch and analyzes the scene with her curses through the Early Modern English model of charity refused developed by Alan Macfarlane. Then the article analyzes the character of the summoner in the Friar’s Tale and the mediation of his power through a modified curse. This analysis leads to the conclusion that Chaucer’s early portrayal of a cursing hag represents a transitional figure and portrays a glimpse of a stereotype of witch that is to come.