Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3409
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Besserman , Lawrence.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Chaucer, Spain, and the Prioress's Antisemitism
  • Source: Viator 35, ( 2004): Pages 329 - 353.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Antisemitism in Literature Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Prioress's Tale Jews Literature- Verse Prioress (Literary Figure)
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: The goal of the present essay is to demonstrate how unlikely it would have been for Chaucer to have subscribed to the antisemitic views depicted in the Prioress’s Tale. The demonstration consists of three sections. The first section takes a fresh look at textual clues in the fictional response to the Prioress’s Tale within the "Canterbury Tales." The second section adduces neglected evidence of intersections between Chaucer’s diplomatic and court-related career and the careers of prominent contemporary Jews in Spain, and also in Anglo-Spanish relations, from the 1360s to the 1390s. The third section examines Chaucer’s surprisingly favorable depictions of Jews in two passages, one from the "House of Fame" and one from the "Prologue to the Treatise on the Astrolabe." These two passages are routinely neglected by commentators on Chaucer’s attitude toward Jews, an attitude too often presumed to be the same as that expressed in the Prioress’s Tale. [Reproduced from the journal website: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121213/?p=afdbc79947a4444b9739ff05942fde63&pi=0]
  • Author's Affiliation: Hebrew University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2004.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: