Jonathan Myerson’s The Canterbury Tales: The screenwriting sovereignty of animation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145



This discussion explores the ways in which screenwriter, Jonathan Myerson, adapts the Prologue and six of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, for two 30-minute animated episodes, commissioned by the BBC in the United Kingdom, principally for educational broadcast. The analysis demonstrates how the distinctive characteristics of the animation vocabulary – metamorphosis, condensation, anthropomorphism, choreography, fabrication, performance, sound, etc. – are used as screenwriting tools, essentially distilling and translating Chaucer’s text into a concentrated visual dramaturgy. Myerson’s interpretation of the text fully exploits animation as a transubstantiation language in 2D and 3D, and enables animation to reveal and exemplify Chaucer’s wit, themes and outlook.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): adaptation; animation; BBC; Canterbury Tales; Chaucer; Jonathan Myerson
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