Date of Award

Summer 1972

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Allen, Judsara

Second Advisor

Sheeran, Francis J.


This paper grew out of two questions that first occurred to me when I was taking my first seminar in Chaucer. The first was whether it was possible to find some convincing organization framework for the apparently disorganized tales. The second was why Chaucer chose to equate fiction, the world of art, with the reality of a pilgrimage toward heaven. What value did this suggest Chaucer might place on art? The two questions are significant ones for the study of Chaucer, both relating to his stylistic abilities and to his most profound reflections on the meaning of human existence. A portion of this paper, essentially a summary of the section dealing with parallel structures in the tales, was presented at the Medieval Institute, held in May, 1972, at Western Michigan University.