Mind, Breath, and Voice in Chaucer’s Romance Writing

  • Corinne SaundersEmail author


This chapter takes its cue from the Hearing the Voice and Life of Breath projects based at Durham University (UK) to explore the ways in which Chaucer’s romance writings are shaped by and creatively engage with complex understandings of mind, body, and affect. The medieval thought world assumes the embodied nature of experience. Emotions are caused by the movement of the spirits and are underpinned by breath; psychological paradigms rely on the connections between senses, affect, and cognition and the possibility of supernatural experience. Affective experience is explored across a range of Chaucer’s works, with a focus on ideas of voice and breath. Taking a long cultural perspective offers new insights into experience from normal to pathological, and into the relationship between mind, body, and world.


Chaucer Criseyde Troilus Vital Spirit affectAffect 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English StudiesUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK

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