Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 10154
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Favier , Dale A.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Anelida and Arcite: Anti-Feminist Allegory, Pro-Feminist Complaint [The author argues that a pro-feminist impulse in Chaucer’s early poem “Anelida and Arcite” conflicts with the anti-feminist (misogynist) allegorical tradition upon which it borrows. In this tradition, poetry’s betrayal of literal meaning reflects men’s betrayal of women. Anelida’s complaint against Arcite (as well as the poet’s negative portrayal of Mars and Theseus) challenge this anti-feminist literary tradition. Chaucer’s interest in female-voiced complaint carries over into much of his later work. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 26, 1 ( 1991): Pages 83 - 94.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Allegory Anelida (Literary Figure) Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Anelida and Arcite Complaint in Literature Female Voice Literature- Verse Misogyny in Literature Polemics- Women Pro-Feminism Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: Anelida and Arcite provides the first evidence of a major conflict in Chaucer's poetry, "a genuinely pro-feminist impulse" (83) pitted against the ingrained anti-feminist tradition represented in allegory. Women's betrayal by men is reflected in the betrayal of meaning by poetic language. The invocation draws attention to two conflicts in the poem, that between Mars's roles as sustainer and destroyer and that between the author and his literary fathers. Furthermore, the invocation also posits that poets are not faithful lovers. Mars is the false lover, and Arcite is associated with him. The complaint makes Anelida a real person, and "demonstrates how much of the spell of poetry depends upon holding things in place, or at least appearing to" (91). [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: Yale University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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