Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5748
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Stanbury , Sarah.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Virgin’s Gaze: Spectacle and Transgression in Middle English Lyrics of the Passion [The article shows that the Virgin's dual role as spectacle and spectator in Middle English Passion lyrics transgresses cultural proscriptions of female gazing. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source URL: PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 106, 5 (May 1991): 1083-1093. Link Info target = '_blank'>PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 106, 5 (May 1991): 1083-1093. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Gaze Jesus Christ- Passion in Literature Literature- Verse Mary, Virgin, Saint- in Literature Passion Lyrics Virginity in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14- 15
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  • Abstract: Depictions of the Virgin in Middle English lyrics of the Passion are one of the most common medieval sources for accounts of a woman's gaze. Her gaze in these laments, however, runs counter to cultural proscriptions of female gazing, as illustrated in Dante, Chaucer, Alan of Lille, and Bernard of Clairvaux and as theorized in recent feminist film theory. The Marian poems complicate the gaze by repeatedly enjoining the reader to view Christ's suffering and mutilated body through an intricately mediated visual enterprise: the reader looks not only at the figure on the cross but also at the Virgin gazing, a sight that is further mediated by the poet, often in the persona of someone watching at the scene. Spectatorship in the laments sets up a complex tension between the Virgin as spectacle and the Virgin as a transgressive subject of maternal and erotic power. [Reproduced from the publisher's website: https://www.zotero.org]
  • Author's Affiliation: Tufts University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00308129
  • Material/Technique :
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