《坎特伯雷故事集》中《巴斯妇人的引子》和《女修道士的故事》的话语修辞分析
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A Rhetorical Analysis of “The Bath’s Wife’s Prologue” and “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales

Abstract

Many critics consider Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) as “the father of English poetry” (Xiong, 1995:11) mostly for his accomplishment in meter and rhythm. Researches on The Canterbury Tales, one of the most well-known works in the fourteenth century, have been conducted from various perspectives such as feminism, sociology, religion and so on. But criticisms on rhetoric of this masterpiece are relatively rare, especially in China. And although Chaucer’s talent for poetry is highly noticed, his great contribution to the rhetoric and oratory, however, is unknown to the public (Huang, 2005). Therefore, this thesis analyses how certain characters, the Wife of Bath and Chauntecleer the Rooster, make their statements and give reasons with the goal of persuading others from a rhetorical perspective. This study is based on Aristotle’s rhetorical theory.

This thesis consists of six parts. Chapter one gives a brief introduction to the significance and motivation of the study and presents the structure of the thesis. Chapter two is a review of criticism to Geoffrey Chaucer and his works home and abroad, which points out the values of studying his works. Chapter three will introduce Aristotle’s theory on rhetoric and present its historical importance. Chapter four and five analyze the Wife of Bath and Chauntecleer the Roster’s debating skills, exploring how they persuade others of their own philosophy based on Aristotle’s rhetorical approach. The last part comes to the conclusion.

Through a detailed textual analysis of Chaucer’s characters, the Wife of Bath and Chauntecleer the Rooster, this paper argues that the two eloquent orators have succeeded in convincing others of their opinion after making themselves credible, arousing audience’s emotions and using logic.

Key words:Chaucer, Aristotle, rhetoric, the Wife of Bath, Chauntecleer the Rooster
 

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