Gower's Languages.

Machan, Tim William.

Gower's Languages.

Machan, Tim William. "Gower's Languages." 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. 225-36.

In its vast extent and high quality, Gower's trilingual output is unrivalled for an English poet (225). In contrast to earlier approaches, which separated languages and considered Gower's English poetry to be a stage in "the triumph of English" (226, 232-34), recent criticism sees his three languages as coequal and often engaged in "interplay" (227, 228), as in the CA, where English and Latin lines coexist in creative tension (227). Gower was a stylistic innovator both in Latin and French (227, 230), suggesting he saw an English future for both. Different languages often acted as "symbols" or "metonymies" for Gower, French for reconciliation (228), Latin for political "vitriol" (229), and English for a kind of "social resistance" (231), given its still-marginal status within his lifetime (232-34). [LBB. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 37.2.]


Gower Subjects
Language and Word Studies