Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5316
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
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  • Title: Good Women and Bonnes Dames: Virtuous Females in Chaucer and Christine de Pizan
  • Source: Chaucer Review 30, 1 ( 1995): Pages 58 - 70.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Legend of Good Women Christine de Pizan, Poet- Livre de la Cite des Dames Gender Goodness in Literature Literature- Prose Literature- Verse Misogyny Narrator Women in Literature Women's Nature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles;France
  • Century: 14- 15
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  • Abstract: In the "Legend of Good Women" Chaucer defines women only in relation to men and portrays them in such a way that even if they are constant, they are rejected as duplicitous. Christine de Pisan, in "Le Livre de la Cité des Dames," treats a similar subject, but her women appear much more virtuous and less foolish. In the Prologue to the "Legend of Good Women" Chaucer establishes women as lovers, thereby forcing men to examine them in terms of their physicality and nothing more. Christine's opening establishes a non-gendered definition of goodness that goes beyond sexual purity and specifically addresses the tales of wicked women. Though both authors examine the same women, their portraits are very different. Ultimately, Christine's portraits reveal that women are good regardless of how they relate to men, whereas Chaucer's women are good only in their relationships to men [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
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  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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