Volume 65, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Often excluded from Chaucer’s modernizations or heavily censored, over the centuries has been stigmatized as bawdy, obscene and, as such, unfit for the general reader. The article briefly reviews the history of the modernization of in the 18th–19th centuries and focuses on its four major 20th-early 21st-century translations into modern English to find out how the motives of decency might have determined the translators’ choices where it concerns the tale’s explicit language. The argument of decency appears to be a lame excuse for the failure of many of Chaucer’s modernizers to understand the true purport and place of in the overall composition of , as well as to appreciate Chaucer’s literary achievement in representing through his characters’ narratives the spirit and mindset of his age.


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