Category Archives: British Literature I

The Old Fox and Goods

.::. 12-15-2010 .::. written as pt. 3 of my British Lit. final .::. Abigail Morris .::.

+  The Old Fox and Goods

            Two other exciting and hilarious tales which deal with the ideas of greed and trickery are Everyman and Volpone. Both are presented as plays with Everyman having apparently been written anonymously in the fifteenth century and Volpone by Ben Jonson in the early seventeenth century. The characters in Everyman are representations of the aspects common to everyman’s life—God, Death, Fellowship, Cousin, Beauty, Knowledge, Strength, Goods, Good Deeds, etc. In Everyman, after Death has been sent to retrieve Everyman, Everyman is granted an opportunity to Continue reading

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Greed Plays the Pardoner

.::. 12-15-2010 .::. written for pt. 2 of  British Lit. final .::. Abigail Morris .::.

+ Greed Plays the Pardoner

            The Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, is the tale of a medieval pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. The characters which embark upon the journey are from all three estates, and are lively and interesting individuals. As the final member joins the band of travelers he proposes that the group each entertain the others with four stories—two on the way to Canterbury, and two on the way back. The group agrees and so off they set, having already been introduced to the reader by way of the descriptive analysis of Chaucer the character/narrator. Continue reading

Greed Defined

.::. 12-15-2010 .::. written as pt 1 of my British Lit. final .::. Abigail Morris .::.

+ Greed Defined

            The Oxford English Dictionary defines greed primarily as “inordinate or insatiate longing, esp. for wealth; avarice or covetous desire.” It is Scottish in origin though the spelling varied and can be used as a verb (though such use is labeled “rare”). What seems most odd about the listing for the word is the first recorded date of use—1609. According to the OED, the word greed was first used by Simeon Graham in his The Anatomie of Humours in the sentence: “Whose avarice and gread of geare is such, that they care not whom with they joyne, so being they be ritch.” It’s a lovely sentence and rather a bit amusing once mentally paired with a typical Scottish accent. Interestingly, this leads to the entry for the word greedily, which actually predates greed, and whose origin depends entirely upon Continue reading