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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Poetry is intertwined with fame: it needs to be known, and to be associated with a named poet. In their dramatization of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, William Shakespeare and John Fletcher declare that Chaucer is more famous than Petrarch or any contemporary English poets. Shakespeare’s attitude to Chaucer thus highlights the contrast between the high admiration with which he was received in the sixteenth century and the widespread refusal in modern times to recognize him as England’s laureate poet. Numerous other poets, including Edmund Spenser and Ben Jonson, paid tribute to Chaucer throughout the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This article examines Chaucer’s fame as a poet, his own attitude to fame, and its relation to humanism, Catholicism and Protestantism.

Keywords: poetry, fame, Geoffrey Chaucer, Knight’s Tale, William Shakespeare, England, humanism, Catholicism, Protestantism

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