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Saturday, 10 August 2019

The Parlement of Foules

The Parlement of Foules is an allegorical work of Chaucer. This is supposed to belong to his Italian period, although its nature is indicative of its association with the French period. Actually, the poem may be taken as a model on the French allegorical poetry. It stands out, along with The Hous of Fame, as Chaucer's significant contribution to allegorical literature.
The Parlement of Foules

In Parlement of Foules, the allegory is based on a parliament, held by nature, in which different fowls participate. Big and mighty fowls are shown to dominate the entire deliberation. The whole account is amusingly presented, and allegorises the working of the actual Parliament, dominated by big bosses and influential peers. Chaucer's allegory, however, is something more than the characteristic medieval allegory, like The Owl and the Nightingale, which is mainly moral in effect. His work has a social outlook and a genuine comic spirit.

The present poem, like its companion poem is a dream vision. The Chaucerian dreamer is led to a congregation of the birds of all varieties gathered before the goddess of nature of the St. Valentine's day. Written in Chaucer's usual poetic pattern, rhyme-royal, probably between 1374 and 1371, it remained as an engaging work for all times.

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