Feminizing Chaucer

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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An investigation of Chaucer's thinking about women, assessed in the light of developments in feminist criticism.

Women are a major subject of Chaucer's writings, and their place in his work has attracted much recent critical attention. Feminizing Chaucer investigates Chaucer's thinking about women, and re-assesses it in the light of developments in feminist criticism. It explores Chaucer's handling of gender issues, of power roles, of misogynist stereotypes and the writer's responsibility for perpetuating them, and the complex meshing of activity and passivityin human experience. Mann argues that the traditionally 'female' virtues of patience and pity are central to Chaucer's moral ethos, and that this necessitates a reformulation of ideal masculinity.
First published [as Geoffrey Chaucer] in the series 'Feminist Readings', this new edition includes a new chapter, 'Wife-Swapping in Medieval Literature'. The references and bibliography have been updated, and a new preface surveys publications in the field over the last decade. JILL MANN is currently Notre Dame Professor of English, University of Notre Dame.

 

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Contents

Antifeminism
39
The Surrender of Maistrye
70
Suffering Woman Suffering God
100
The Feminized Hero
129
Conclusion
145
Bibliography
174
Index
189
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