The Middle Ages did not conceptualize the political as a distinct sphere of human activity as readily or extensively as we do today. Political issues are often subsumed in moral or religious discourse in Chaucer’s writings, which additionally often display a tendency towards oblique, multivalent, conflicted — at times evasive — treatments of deep or controversial subjects. Chaucer eschews simple single narratives to interpret complex questions about life; perhaps that is why many of his compositions remain unfinished, or present a diversity of voices, or include phrases or speeches within their narratives which open up disconcerting or contradictory viewpoints, or causes for human protest, counteracting received views of how society and the universe are governed.
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