Gower's Courts.

Giancarlo, Matthew.

Gower's Courts.

Giancarlo, Matthew. "Gower's Courts." In Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Brian Gastle, and R. F. Yeager, eds. The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 150-57.

Gower "was a 'court man' for life" in both meanings of the term, the noble household and court of justice (150). Gower's sophisticated trilingual corpus "could have found a comfortable home" in any courtly context (151). Despite his insider status, however, Gower was prone to role-playing the prophet in the wilderness boldly calling out abuses (151-52). Through the characters of Amans and Genius, both projections of the author, he channels both the courtly "subject of rule" and "voice of authority" (152). The poet's view of kingship, especially the usurpation of 1399, has evoked a range of interpretations, with some critics claiming sycophancy, and others a nuanced constitutionalism requiring even kings to obey the law (153-54). [LBB. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 37.2.]


Gower Subjects
Background and General Criticism
Biography of Gower