Research Publication Title

That's Been Done Before: Tropes and Cliché in "The Canterbury Tales"

Presenter Information

Christian PontaltiFollow

Major

Literature

Faculty Mentor

Craig Callender

Keywords

Chaucer, Trope, Cliché, Literature, Media, English

Abstract

Tropes and clichés have become a staple in the proliferation of modern media. Their use ranges from the love-at-first-sight mechanic of classic romances to the evolution of “fatal flaws” within drama. While their presence is so often perceived as a pernicious copying of formerly original ideas, the analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales depicts the use of established story-telling conventions in the popularization of English as a literary medium. The use of the modern trope in Chaucer’s tales are juxtaposed against the word’s original denotation of a church sponsored recreation of biblical texts, the ever-growing secular audience for written and performed works, and the trope’s use as an effective “shortcut” for storytelling. This is accomplished through the analysis of specific recurring plot devices within the context of The Canterbury Tales as a collection of morality plays, and in comparison, to modern examples of tropes from Chaucer’s works and ancient tropes that were re-tooled by Chaucer himself. The proposed goal of this presentation is then to re-imagine a trope and resulting clichés role within media as an effective manner of translating complex plot points and characterization to an intended audience.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

That's Been Done Before: Tropes and Cliché in "The Canterbury Tales"

Tropes and clichés have become a staple in the proliferation of modern media. Their use ranges from the love-at-first-sight mechanic of classic romances to the evolution of “fatal flaws” within drama. While their presence is so often perceived as a pernicious copying of formerly original ideas, the analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales depicts the use of established story-telling conventions in the popularization of English as a literary medium. The use of the modern trope in Chaucer’s tales are juxtaposed against the word’s original denotation of a church sponsored recreation of biblical texts, the ever-growing secular audience for written and performed works, and the trope’s use as an effective “shortcut” for storytelling. This is accomplished through the analysis of specific recurring plot devices within the context of The Canterbury Tales as a collection of morality plays, and in comparison, to modern examples of tropes from Chaucer’s works and ancient tropes that were re-tooled by Chaucer himself. The proposed goal of this presentation is then to re-imagine a trope and resulting clichés role within media as an effective manner of translating complex plot points and characterization to an intended audience.