Using R. F. Yeager's analysis of the figure Arion as a starting point, this article argues that in the Confessio Amantis, John Gower shifts his impulse toward social correction from direct estates satire to a more subtle approach encoding his social critique in the love stories of the Confessio. Examples of this approach include a variety of tales from Book 5, and the Apollonius of Tyre story in Book 8. Details of the poem's ending and later works like "In Praise of Peace" indicate that Gower still retained an interest in direct critique of social problems.


I would like to thank Georgiana Donavin and Eve Salisbury for giving this piece the chance to see the light of day and their help in the process. I would also like to thank the John Gower Society for the opportunity to present this work in 2019, and to thank R. F. Yeager for the inspiration for this particular argument.