"Tyme, Rime, Minde & Kinde: The Reverberation of Time in Composition, Cognition & Kynde in The Book of the Duchess"
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
In Europe during the fourteenth century the perception of time was revolutionized by the invention of the mechanical clock. The device rendered the old qualitative, self referential perception of time obsolete and replaced it with a means of time reckoning abstracted from human experience. In this thesis I will analyze the influence of the emergence of the mechanical clock on Geoffrey Chaucer's earliest know work: <underline>The Book of the Duchess</underline>. I utilize close reading and numerology to interpret the relationship between the forest and the humans of the Dreamscape. Ultimately, I argue that Chaucer allocates the old qualitative perception of time to the humans and contrasts it with the quantitative time of the forest. He does this in order to show that perceiving time apart from human experience inevitably goes against human nature or "kynde" by elucidating a qualitative approach to time's influence on the supreme human act of composition.