1964 年 40 巻 2 号 p. 149-166
The medieval mind had an inclination for ransacking resemblances, equivalences and correspondences among things, which was a way of proving the order of the universe established by God. John Gower, a representative medieval man, seems to have possessed a strong sense of correspondence. All through his three major works he held a consistent idea that man is a little world, and on this principle of correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm he founded his social criticism, his earnest preaching on the individual responsibility for the chaos and degradation of the contemporary world. The author of Confessio Amantis was, however, not a mere social critic. In this work we perceive all aspects-religious, moral, scientific and poetic-of Gower unrolled, and in each of them his sense of correspondence is more or less discernible. Firstly, Gower was an advocate of such medieval sciences as alchemy and astronomy, which were both based on the principle of correspondence. In his ethics Gower insists on the theory of retribution, telling horrible examples of coincidence between sin and punishment. Gower's attitude toward mysterious phenomena, such as dream, omen and metamorphosis was more medieval than Chaucer whose dream psychology, for example, was astonishingly modern. Gower emphasizes the miraculous coincidences, resemblances and correspondences in those phenomena, showing how exactly God's plan works. Turning our attention to the structure of Confessio Amantis, two of the leading principls can also be stated in terms of correspondence. One is the correspondence between religion and love, that is, the application of the sermon of the Seven Deadly Sins to the matter of love, and the other is the correspondence between a moral and its exemplum. Now either of these principles carries with it some inevitable discrepancies or contradictions, but Gower's strong sense of correspondence yoked different or opposite things together. Lastly, and it is most interesting to us, the sense of correspondence finds expression in Gower's poetical or rhetorical devices. With the exception of a number of pregnant images, the imagery of Confessio Amantis is generally more logical than poetical. In many instances an image is nothing but a means of the author's analogical thinking, or often a cluster of images forms what is equivalent to an exemplum or a fable to be used for a didactic purpose. The frequent use of antithesis or parallelism is likewise noteworthy. It might be understood in connection with the metrical scheme of this work which is written in couplets of four-foot line, but probably it ultimately comes from his sense of correspondence. Although the sense of correspondence was a product of the age in which Gower lived, yet in Confessio Amantis the moral poet modified and developed it in his own way, making it a hidden unifying factor of this heterogeneous and voluminous work.