Thesis

"Anelida and Arcite" as a preface to "The Knight's Tale"

The approach adopted in this paper requires one first and foremost to regard "Anelida" as, very simply, a poem. Whatever its significance may be, the poem at least tells a touching story and may show, upon examination, structure and thematic coherence. By examining the poem's story, structure and themes, this writer hopes to gain insight into the ways in which "Anelida" may be related to "The Knight's Tale." Two basic resemblances between these poems suggest a connection that should be explored. Both works have an Arcite as a major character. Both works have plots and characters derived from the Theseus myth, as rendered by Statios and Boccaccio. If "Anelida" can be shown to exhibit signs of structural and thematic coherence, and if "Anelida" reveals conceptions about love and the human condition that have significant substance, then perhaps its resemblances to "The Knight's Tale" can take on new significances and can lead to a deeper understanding of that major work. This paper, then, attempts to analyze "Anelida and Arcite" as a preface for studying "The Knight's Tale." So far as is known to this writer, no critic has approached "Anelida" with this goal in mind.

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