This paper approaches The House of Fame through the emerging lens of sound studies and discusses how Chaucer used the developing sonic theories of his day and other literary works as a catalyst for his discussion of fame in his dream vision. Chaucer's poem shows the fragile and uncontrollable characteristics of lasting fame by comparing it to the Boethian metaphor of sound functioning similarly to rippling water. The construction of The House of Fame ultimately becomes an example of this medieval sonic theory as it engages with, incorporates, and echoes themes and ideas from other texts. In exploring the process of fame throughout the narrative and by engaging in that same process as he translates the works of Boethius, Virgil, Ovid and Dante, Chaucer steps into the precarious shoes of his own character, becoming the goddess Fame, by molding his literary predecessors into his own text.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderson, Madeline Nicole, ""Al this loude fare:" The Echo of Renown in Chaucer's The House of Fame" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9407.
echoing, sonic theory, translation, soundscape, medieval sound, medieval noise