Even though Gower identifies Godfrey of Viterbo's Pantheon in the first two lines of the "Tale of Apollonius of Tyre" in Book VIII of the Confessio Amantis as the main source for his retelling of this tale, the connection between these two works has long been mostly ignored, and even denied. This essay aims to remedy this oversight by showcasing how Gower went beyond merely mentioning the Pantheon and used Godfrey's version of the tale as a thematic and stylistic model for his account of this incestuous tale of desire. Gower takes his cue from Godfrey in imbuing the titillating story with the strong presence of Fortune as a thematic devise, placed there to test the morality of the characters in Godfrey and Gower's exemplum with "mirror for princes" characteristics. Gower also follows Godfrey's lead in the terseness of his writing, resulting in a vivid pointedness of both writers' narratives. Finally, this essay addresses Antiochus' riddle and considers how Gower's wording of the riddle provides a strong textual connection to Godfrey's rendition of the riddle and it pinpoints which manuscript copy of the Pantheon Gower most likely took his inspiration from.
I would like to thank Georgiana Donavin and Eve Salisbury in providing invaluable comments and suggestions on how to improve my essay. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sebastian Sobecki, who first encouraged me to write about Gower and this topic.
Zweers, Thari L.
"Godfrey of Viterbo’s Pantheon and John Gower’s Confessio Amantis: The Story of Apollonius Retold,"
Accessus: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/accessus/vol5/iss1/3