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Gower's "Confessio" and the "Nova statuta Angliae": royal lessons in English law
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2012, N.33, pags.45-65
This essay examines parallels between the discussion of kingship and law in the Confessio Amantis and the account of Edward II's deposition that opens the Nova statuta Angliae, a comparison that reveals how each text employs a hybrid discourse that creates multiple frames of reference for the reader. Manuscript copies of both texts appear to have been commissioned tar Richard II in the early 1390s, at a time when the king sought to defend against limitations of his power, and the Confessio has been depicted as a commentary on the king's fulfillment of his responsibilities. This essay shows how both texts interweave discourses of legal argument, romance narrative, advice to princes, and religious exemplum in ways that strengthen their representation of the king's sacred obligation to uphold the laws of the land, based on the English coronation oath that entered textual circulation in the fourteenth century.
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