Chaucer's Sexual Poetics

Chaucer's Sexual Poetics

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Through an analysis of the poems Chaucers wordes Unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn, Troilus and Criseyde, the Legend of Good Women, the Man of Lawa€™s Tale, the Wife of Batha€™s Tale and its Prologue, the Clerka€™s Tale, and the Pardonera€™s Tale, Carolyn Dinshaw offers a provocative argument on medieval sexual constructs and Chaucera€™s role in shaping them. Operating under the assumption that people read and write certain ways based upon societya€™s demands, Dinshaw examines gender identity and the effects of a patriarchal society. The focal point of Dinshawa€™s argument is the idea that the literary text can be seen as the female body while any literary activities upon the text are decidedly male. Through a series of six provocative essays, Dinshaw argues that Chaucer was not only aware that gender is a social construction, but that he self-consciously worked to oppose the dominance of masculinity that a patriarchal society places on texts by creating works in which gender identity and hierarchy were more fluid.Chapter Four aquot;Glose/bele choseaquot;: The Wife of Bath and Her Glossators The Man of Law has just concluded his tale of Constance, reuniting ... its heroine as a will- less blank and has thus controlled the threat that an independent female aquot;corageaquot; would pose to patriarchy. ... In this endlink to the Man of Lawa#39;s Tale and beginning of the Wife of Batha#39;s Prologue, woman is associated with the body and the textanbsp;...

Title:Chaucer's Sexual Poetics
Author:Carolyn Dinshaw
Publisher:Univ of Wisconsin Press - 1989


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