Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In On Beauty and Being Just, Elaine Scarry argues that error is part and parcel of the human understanding of beauty. Medieval writers regarded beauty with some suspicion; in the modern era, it is typically associated with “taste” and judgement. This article examines the notion of beauty as depicted in medieval literature by focusing on Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem “Miller’s Tale” and his description of the main actor, Alisoun. It considers how a new aesthetic enters the poem and with it an attempt to redefine both poetry and beauty.

Keywords: Elaine Scarry, error, beauty, Geoffrey Chaucer, Miller’s Tale, poetry, medieval literature

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.