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(1980). Literature and Psychology. XXVIII, 1978: The Popular Meaning of Chaucer's "Physician's Tale." Thomas L. Kinney. Pp. 76-84.. Psychoanal Q., 49:346-347.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Literature and Psychology. XXVIII, 1978: The Popular Meaning of Chaucer's "Physician's Tale." Thomas L. Kinney. Pp. 76-84.

(1980). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 49:346-347

Literature and Psychology. XXVIII, 1978: The Popular Meaning of Chaucer's "Physician's Tale." Thomas L. Kinney. Pp. 76-84.

Although generally popular, Chaucer's "Physician's Tale" has always seemed of inferior literary merit. Previous critical thought is reviewed. The paradox can be understood by applying dream analysis technique. The tale is seen as an adolescent girl's response to the claims of sexuality in conflict with the urge for

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parental security. The solution here is a denial of sexuality presented as an erotic death at the hands of the father. The dream-tale is compared to Campbell's consideration of rites of passage as calls to adventure accepted or refused; here the refusal of the call culminates in death. Chaucer opened to the conscious level unconscious patterns recognizable by a popular audience. The high interest in this tale in certain periods of the Middle Ages may have been related to preoccupation with reproduction as good and death as evil because of the impact of the plagues on population levels.

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Article Citation

(1980). Literature and Psychology. XXVIII, 1978. Psychoanal. Q., 49:346-347

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