Moral and Political Gower: focusing on the Prologue and Book VII of Confessio Amantis

최예정 /Yejung Choi

2018, vol.28, no.3, pp. 307-330

This study tries to locate the interface of the moral and political aspects found in John Gower’s Confessio Amantis. The epithet moral has traditionally been attached to Gower. Gower has also been under suspicion for being too political, especially because he changed the recipients of dedication from Richard II to Henry of Derby who will be enthroned later as Henry IV. Focusing on the Prologue and Book VII of the Confessio Amantis, this study explicates the historical character of the poem and argues that the tales reflect the main concern of his age. For example, his emphasis on the importance of law in the governance of kingdom was an inverse mirror image of the misgovernance of Richard II. Gower had hoped to educate the king to be a moral person who could rule himself and his kingdom. Frustrated by Richard’s misgovernance, Gower turned to Henry.