Chaucer’s scholar’s have long recognized the poet’s keen sense of observation and have commented upon the poet’s ability to transfer his visual images to his writing.
Although I think that the notion of modern art as organic must be qualified and questioned, there is a certain force and validity to Jordan’s distinction between medieval and modern art. Modern art expects the parts to be somewhat subordinate to the whole. The dominant stress of New Criticism was on the organic nature of art.
The purpose of this essay will be to explore the significance of competition and feedback in The Canterbury Tales, by applying historical evidence of literary competition in the fourteenth century to a discussion of the frame narrative, especially the prologue and epilogue to Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas.
The majority of medieval scholars, including Roger Sherman Loomis, argue that the popularity of the Arthurian legend in England was therefore on the wane in the latter half of the fourteenth century; as a result, the major writers of the period, such as John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer, refrained from penning anything beyond the occasional reference to King Arthur and his court.