Kenneth Eckert:  “He Clothed Him and Fedde Him Evell”: Narrative and Thematic ‘Vulnerability’ in Gamelyn  Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Volume 22 No. 2 (2014)    131 ~ 146

The Tale of Gamelyn has often been read in regard to its contestedassociation with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or in respect to interdisciplinaryconcerns with class and cultural/legal issues. Less has been done to understandthe poem itself. This paper builds on similar work on Havelok the Dane to assertthat vulnerability is a key trope in Gamelyn. Both at the story level, where thepoet evokes sympathy in Gamelyn’s growth from weakness to strength, and atscene level where the contrast between his ill and kindly treatment ishighlighted, vulnerability acts as a thematic device, and recognition of thisconceit will assist in understanding the poem.

Key words: Gamelyn, Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Middle English romances, Havelok the Dane, law in Literature