The Franklin's Prologue and Tale offer a model of poetic image-making derived from Geoffrey of Vinsauf's Poetria nova. The Franklin's exploration of the colors of rhetoric in his prologue anticipates the illusionist's ability to manipulate the black rocks in the tale. In manipulating language and the natural world, this system of poetry threatens to obscure truth. As a result, the Franklin's Tale is as much about poetic illusion as magical illusion, and as much about factual truth (or reality) as ethical truth.

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