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제목 : Chaucer’s Humor and Ethos: A Bakhtinian Reading
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This essay investigates the ontological relationality that Chaucerian humor propagates, beyond its hermeneutic or interpretative dimension, in The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s humor and laughter resonate through the “fictional reality” or the virtual space where the tellers with their distinctive styles of tales collide and conflict with the audience through their distinguished responses. Humor works in the blurring realm between the real and the fictional as its liberating and festive nature constantly engages within the various layers of audience and narrators. In this particularized space, the Miller creates an engaging position to “quite with” the Knight via his stylized story of a fabliau, and the aesthetic quality of the genre is illuminated through its dense connectivity with the others. The creative act of narration manifests a deductive adaption to the given world, and it actualizes a remapping of the territory by formulating interactive relationality toward the preceding tales. For the Miller, humor is engineered as an artistic apparatus that fashions his story in a new form with its “genre-shaping power,” as Bakhtin might argue. Furthermore, humor through the Tales plays an interactive role in authenticating the ethos of the narrators and their civil attitudes toward one another.


▸Key Words: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, humor, space, style, civility, aesthetics, ethos


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