2 선희정  「학자의 이야기」에 나타난 아이러니   Medieval and Early Modern English Studies Volume 22 No. 2 (2014)    31 ~ 59 
   [Seon Hui-jeong: The Clerk’s Ironic Storytelling in The Clerk’s Tale]

The Clerk’s Tale has proved Chaucer's least tractable tale for modern readers.
Throughout the Clerk’s Tale, meaning and intention are the problems. The modified reading of the Clerk’s Tale presented in this paper turns the chief emphasis from the question of religious allegory or sovereignty in marriage tothe larger question of the irony and paradox through an exploration of the character of the Clerk. Since nothing in the General Prologue or later indicates that the Clerk is other than devout and intelligent, one must re-examine his tale to see whether this sober and unworldly figure is, in fact, subtler than his fellows and the critics have recognized. There is a good deal of self-revelation of the Clerk in Griselda's story. The Clerk is a complicated figure of utter submissiveness and essential silence like Griselda, and he disguises himself, his motives, and aggressive humour cleverly.
Among the Canterbury pilgrims, the highly educated Clerk is the one whocan use irony and paradox such as the principle of “loser wins” subtly. With the tale, the Clerk challenges an audience as Griselda’s impassive patience challenges Walter. The Clerk, with his rationalist bent, builds our critical resistance into Griselda’s story, and even encourages it. The fact that the purpose of this tale is to inspire critical response shows the potentia lsubversiveness of the Clerk’s Tale. It could be viewed as a poem about either a woman’s subversive or her silenced subversion. The Clerk’s version of the Griselda story seems to entail a revelation of the male speaker’s anxiety about his manliness, his status and identity. This quiet and ascetic figure is often regarded by modern critics as an ideal portrayal of the selfless man of learning.
His tale and Envoy, in fact, clearly suggest that this Clerk has his own irony.
It is no wonder that the Clerk makes an ironic judgement on all established authorities.

Key words: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Clerk’s Tale, Clerk, irony