Its role as entertainment is undeniable, but that entertainment thinly veils didactic intent. Many of the effects and plot developments--the transformations, namelessness of the principal characters, and exotic setting in the East--should be read through the lens of religious instruction. An early variant of the Constance tale, whose most famous English versions are told by Gower's Genius in the Confessio Amantis and Chaucer's Man of Law, the poem addresses religious interests through rhetorical trappings that parse, reinforce, educate, and entertain simultaneously.
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