Chaucer and hagiographic authority
in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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Throughout the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer creatively uses the hagiographic mode in both secular and religious tales as a way of negotiating hagiographic authority as a legitimising force. In several of his tales, notably the Physician’s Tale, The Clerk’s Tale, and the Man of Law’s Tale, Chaucer employs the powers of this authority, through the concept of sanctity, in order to articulate aspects of the literary. This articulation, which is problematic in many cases, leads to indeterminacy and is used to explore questions of character, authorship, authorisation, and power.


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