Corrupted Literature

The representation of corruption in Dante’s Inferno, Chaucer’s “The Pardoner’s Tale`, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

A focus upon how these three giants of European literature represent a particular aspect of their cultural and social contexts would lead to insights, not only into their societies, but into how artists manipulate contextual material for their own aesthetic or critical purposes. Examining their treatment of the theme of social corruption in three representative texts, we will see that all three writers were engaged/removed to different degrees with regard to their social contexts. This paper will argue that, of the three writers, the Florentine Dante is the most directly engaged with the theme of corruption in his society. 8 pgs. 12 f/c. 4b.