Chaucer’s Reworking of the Ovidian Locus Amoenus
The locus amoenus or pleasant place is a literary construct which can be traced back to the writings of Homer. It is an area of repose and relaxation in a natural setting consisting of shady trees, soft grass, cool water and occasionally flowers. Ovid appropriated the locus amoenus to his own ends, to disarm his audience before enacting a corruption that produced metamorphosis, either physically or psychologically. In this way, Ovid’slocus amoenus became a space to provoke consideration of emotional or moral dilemmas, frequently those related to an excess of desire.