The "Parlement of Foules" (also known as the "Parliament of Fowls," "Parlement of Briddes," "Assembly of Fowls" or "Assemble of Foules") is a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343?-1400) made up by approximately 700 lines. Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343 – 25 October 1400? was an English author poet Philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and Diplomat. The poem is in the form of a dream vision in rhyme royal stanza and is interesting as it is the first reference to the idea that St. Valentine's Day was a special day for lovers. A dream vision is a Literary genre, Literary device or Literary convention in which the narrator falls asleep and Dreams Rime Royal (or Rhyme royal) is a rhyming Stanza form that was introduced into English poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer. Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a Holiday celebrated on February 14
The poem begins with the narrator reading Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis in the hope of learning some “certeyn thing. Marcus Tullius Cicero ( Classical Latin ˈkikeroː usually ˈsɪsərəʊ in English January 3, 106 BC &ndash December 7, 43 BC was a Roman ” When he falls asleep Scipio Africanus shows up to guide him up through the celestial spheres and then to Venus’ temple. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major ( Latin: P·CORNELIVS·P·F·L·N·SCIPIO·AFRICANVS ¹) (236&ndash183 The VENUS ( V ictoria E xperimental N etwork U nder the S ea project is a cabled sea floor observatory operated by the University The narrator then passes through Venus’ dark temple with its friezes of doomed lovers out into the bright sunlight where Nature is convening a parliament at which the birds all choose their mates. There the three tercel eagles make their case for the hand of the formel until the birds of the lower estates begin to protest and launch into a comic parliamentary debate, which Nature herself finally ends. None of the tercels wins the formel, for Nature allows her to put off her decision for another year. The dream ends with the mate-choosing ritual being put off for yet another year, though various birds sing to commemorate the yearly departure of lady Nature and to welcome the new summer. The dreamer awakes, still unsatisfied, and returns to his books, hoping still to learn the thing for which he seeks.
There are fourteen manuscript sources for the poem:
William Caxton's early print of 1478 is also considered authoritative, for it reproduces the text of a manuscript now considered lost. The stemma and genealogy of these authorities was studied by John Koch in 1881, and later established by Eleanor Prescott Hammond in 1902, dividing them into two main groups, A and B (last five MSS), although the stemma is by no means definitive. John Koch (1909-1978 is an American painter One of his works is The Sculptor (1964 an oil on canvas painting
Concerning the author of the poem, there is no doubt that it was written by Geoffrey Chaucer, for so he tells us twice in his works. Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343 – 25 October 1400? was an English author poet Philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and Diplomat.
A more difficult question is that of date. Early criticism of the poem, as far as the first decades of the 20th century, relied mainly on the different interpretations of the text — comparing the fight for the female eagle with royal betrothals of the age — to produce a date of composition for the poem. Fred N. Robinson (Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, 1957: 791) mentioned that "if the theories of allegory in the Parliament are rejected, the principal evidence usually relied on for dating the poem about 1381-2 disappears. " Later criticism, however, is much more objective on the reasons why the poem has been dated in 1382, the main reason given in lines 117-118 of the poem itself: "As wisly as I sawe the [Venus], northe northe west/ When I begane my sweuene for to write" for according to John M. Manly (1913: 279-90) Venus is never strictly in the position "north-north-west,"but it can be easily thought to be so when it reaches its extreme northern point". Manly adds that this condition was met in May 1374, 1382, and 1390.
The third date is easily discarded since we know that the poem is already mentioned as composed in the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women. Derek Brewer (1960: 104) then argues that the date of 1382, as opposed to that of 1374, is much more likely for the composition of the poem since, during the same period (1373-85), Chaucer wrote many other works including The House of Fame which, in all respects, seems to have been composed earlier than "The Parliament of Fowls," thus: "a very reasonable, if not certain, date for the Parlement is that it was begun in May 1382, and was ready for St. Valentine's Day, 14th February 1383" (Brewer, 1960: 104). The House of Fame is a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, it is one of his early works probably written between 1379 and 1380. Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a Holiday celebrated on February 14 Although much of the criticism on the interpretation of "The Parliament of Fowls" — which would render clues for its date of composition — is contradictory, and criticism about the importance of line 117 does not agree on whether it can be taken as serious evidence for the dating of the poem, there is nowadays a general agreement among scholars as to 1381-1382 being the date of composition for "The Parliament of Fowls. "
Benson, Larry D. , ed. The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.
|The Canterbury Tales|
|General Prologue | The Knight's Tale | The Miller's Tale | The Reeve's Tale | The Cook's Tale | The Man of Law's Tale | The Wife of Bath's Tale | The Friar's Tale | The Summoner's Tale | The Clerk's Tale | The Merchant's Tale | The Squire's Tale | The Franklin's Tale | The Physician's Tale | The Pardoner's Tale | The Shipman's Tale | The Prioress' Tale | Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topas | The Tale of Melibee | The Monk's Tale | The Nun's Priest's Tale | The Second Nun's Tale | The Canon's Yeoman's Tale | The Manciple's Tale | The Parson's Tale | Chaucer's Retraction|
|The Book of the Duchess | The House of Fame | Anelida and Arcite | The Parliament of Fowls | Boece | The Romaunt of the Rose | Troilus and Criseyde | The Legend of Good Women | Treatise on the Astrolabe|