In it Chaucer subtly mocks antifeminist literature like that of Theophrastus 'Theofraste'. The tale also shows the influence of Boccaccio Decameron: The tale is found in Persia in the Bahar Danush, in which the husband climbs a date tree instead of a pear tree.
Though several of the tales are sexually explicit by modern standards, this one is especially so. The naming of the "Dioses persas yahoo dating" in this Tale is riddled with satirical nomenclature: Januarie, the main character, is named in conjunction with his equally seasonal wife May, representing their individual characters: Januarie is 'hoor and oolde', sharing the bare and unfruitful characteristics of his title month, whereas his youthful and 'fresshe' wife represents the spring seasons.
This has particular relevance when considering the parallel between this tale, and the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve. Januarie's friends are named Placebo and Justinus: The main character, Januarie or Januarya senex amansis a year-old knight from the town of Paviain Lombardy.
Pavia was a place known for having many banks and brothels thus revealing certain characteristics about both the merchant and Januarie. Januarie decides that he wants to marry, predominately for the purpose of lawful recreational sex and to produce an heir, and he consults his two friends, Placebo meaning — 'I shall please'who while encouraging him offers no personal opinion, and Justinus meaning — 'the just one' who opposes marriage from his own experience.
Januarie, a vain man, hears only the flattery of his sycophantic friend Placebo.
Januarie marries May, a young woman not yet 20 years old, largely out of lust and under the guise of religious acceptability. He chooses her seemingly spontaneously after telling all his friends to go and look for a wife for him.
It is unknown why May accepts Januarie; however, it is safe to assume that she did it for social betterment and possibly some kind of inheritance, Januarie being a rich man. A squire in Januarie's court, Dioses persas yahoo dating Damyan, falls in love with May and writes a letter to her confessing his desires: This could simply be a personification of Damyan falling in love, but since Pluto and Proserpina do physically intervene later, Damyan's love could be seen as entirely induced by Venus.
May reciprocates his attraction and plots to have sex with him.
Januarie creates a beautiful walled garden, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden as well as courtly love poetry, where he and May do 'things that were not done in bed'. Immediately after this Januarie is struck blind, although it is not explained why, though Chaucer's suggestion is that his vanity, lust and general immorality have rendered him blind in body and in moral judgment.
This disability, however, spiritually serves Januarie well. His language and character, formerly lewd Dioses persas yahoo dating repulsive, becomes beautiful and gentle love poetry, and his love for May could be seen to evolve to more than just lust and desire.
On June 8, Januarie and May enter a garden that he built for her. Meanwhile, Damyan has sneaked into the garden using a key that he has made from a mould May has given him and waits for May in a pear tree, symbolising, it has been said, the forbidden fruit from Genesis.
May, implying that she is pregnant and craving a pear, requests one from the tree and Januarie, old and blind, and therefore unable to reach, is persuaded to stoop and allow May to climb onto his back herself. Here Chaucer evokes enormous pathos for the 'hoor and oolde' Januarie, soon to be cuckolded by a manipulative female figure, a clear reversal from the horrific and repulsive figure painted by the narrator in the opening presentation of Dioses persas yahoo dating man.
In the tree, May is promptly greeted by her young lover Damyan, and they begin to have sex, described by the Merchant in a particularly lewd and bold fashion: Two Gods are, at this moment, watching the adultery: They begin a passionate argument about the scene, in which Dioses persas yahoo dating condemns women's morality.
These presentations of these two characters and their quarrel crystallises many elements of the tale, namely the argument between man and woman and the religious confusion in the tale, which invokes both the classical gods and the Christian one. Indeed the presence of particular gods has individual relevance when related to this tale: Dioses persas yahoo dating regains his sight — via Pluto's intervention — just in time to see his wife Dioses persas yahoo dating Damyan engaged in intercourse, but May successfully convinces him that his eyesight is deceiving him because it has only just been restored and that she is only 'struggling with a man' because she was told this would get Januarie's sight back.
The tale ends rather unexpectedly: However, Chaucer does not end the tale entirely happily: Conforming with the wider symbolism in the tale of spring triumphing over winter May over Januarythe conclusion supports the unimportance of Damyan whose name has no seasonal context: One question that splits critics is whether the Merchant's tale is a fabliau. Typically a description for a tale of carnal lust and frivolous bed-hopping, some would argue that especially the latter half of the tale, where Damyan and May have sex in the tree with Dioses persas yahoo dating blind Januarie at the foot of the tree, represents fabliau.
Derek Pearsallfor example, is in favour of this view. Some critics, such as Maurice Husseyfeel that Chaucer offers a great deal more sophistication and philosophical insight to put this on a level above fabliau.
Dioses persas yahoo dating and Plaice structured this adaptation across all four seasons of the calendar year, extending Chaucer's original Tale into Autumn thereby following Januarie's tale on beyond the grave.