AURAL EKPHRASIS AND STATIAN SOUND IN CHAUCER’S TEMPLE OF MARS
Leitner, Valerie Ann
MA Thesis, University of Florida (2006)
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Teseida and Statius’ Thebaid, contains an ekphrasis or description of the paintings inside its Temple of Mars which seems to suggest that they make noise. I believe these noises are taken from Statius’ descriptions (who in turn is imitating Vergil) of Mercury, Mars, and the Forest of Trophies, and are meant to represent through sound visually depicted, primary textual objects. I call this manner of sound-description “aural ekphrasis.” My continuing work in this area adds a unique philological comparison of texts and subsequent conclusions to the conversation about the strangely audio-visual paintings in Chaucer’s Temple of Mars.