Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Judith Bailey Slagle

Committee Members

Josh Reid, Frederick Waage


The parallels between the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and Henry Fielding are very striking. Both authors produced some of the greatest works in English literature, yet very little scholarly investigation has been done regarding these two in relationship with one another. In this work I explore the characters of Chaucer’s Parson and Parson Adams, assessing their strengths and weaknesses through pastoral guides by Gregory the Great and George Herbert, while drawing additional conclusions from John Dryden. I examine the episodic, theatrical nature of both authors’ works, along with the inclusion of fabliau throughout. Finally, I look at the shared motif of knight-errant in the works of both authors and the motion employed throughout the tales as travel narratives. By examining these authors’ works, I contend that Fielding masterfully employs many of Chaucer’s literary techniques in his own tales, crafting them to work specifically for the eighteenth-century novel and its audience.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright 2016 by Zachary Alan Canter