This article explores representations of political spectacle in Chaucer's Squire's Tale. Unlike previous studies, it focuses on the relationship between spectacle as an embodied and enacted event and spectacle as an event translated into, and rewritten in, a commemorative poetic narrative. Placing Chaucer's Squire's Tale in conversation with Richard Maidstone's Concordia, I argue that both poems reflect self-consciously on the risks and opportunities of that process of translation. On the one hand, both texts suggest that narrative commemorations enable writers to edit and rewrite embodied sovereign performances, preserving or generating wonder, enigma, and authority; the awkwardness or exposed workings of human-engineered spectacles can be effaced. On the other hand, this process of reframing is itself problematically conspicuous and man-made. The attempt to preserve enigmatic authority—and the static cognitive state of amazement attending it—ultimately points back towards exposure and the restless cognitive motion of rewriting and reseeing.

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