The Romaunt of the Rose


The Romaunt of the Rose (the Romaunt) is a partial translation into Middle English of the French allegorical poem, le Roman de la Rose (le Roman). Originally believed to be the work of Chaucer, the Romaunt inspired controversy among 19th-century scholars when parts of the text were found to differ in style from Chaucer's other works. Also the text was found to contain three distinct fragments of translation. Together, the fragments—A, B, and C—provide a translation of approximately one-third of Le Roman. There is little doubt that Chaucer did translate Le Roman de la Rose under the title The Romaunt of the Rose: in The Legend of Good Women, the narrator, Chaucer, states as much. The question is whether the surviving text is the same one that Chaucer wrote. The authorship question has been a topic of research and controversy. As such, scholarly discussion of the Romaunt has tended toward linguistic rather than literary analysis.Scholars today generally agree that only fragment A is attributable to Chaucer, although fragment C closely resembles Chaucer's style in language and manner. Fragment C differs mainly in the way that rhymes are constructed. And where fragments A and C adhere to a London dialect of the 1370s, Fragment B contains forms characteristic of a northern dialect.
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