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Experience and Auctoritee Played Sublimely
6 December 2013
First off, one should be suspicious of a reviewer who refers to the Middle Ages as the "middle-ages." That's never a good sign. Fortunately, that person's "1" won't drag down the top scores for a solid series of adaptations of Chaucer's most famous work. (Yeah, he wrote other stuff. But I'm guessing that his "Treatise on the Astrolabe" won't be adapted anytime soon, even by someone named Lewis.) Admittedly, the 6 short films aren't all of equal quality. The Shipman and Man of Law aren't great. But the Knight and Miller are good (the Knight, especially). And The Wife of Bath more than makes up for the weaknesses of the others. It forthrightly takes up the tensions between "auctoritee" and "experience"; smuggles in the Wife's potty mouth references to the Greek gods; sublimely accounts for her gap- toothed smile; and plays straight her love for Jankyn, who is coyly renamed Jerome. (If you get that joke, you either had a great Chaucer teacher or are, in fact, a Chaucer teacher.) Read the original. Then watch Julie Walters run with it. You won't be disappointed.
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