Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7494
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Arden , Heather.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Women Who Love Too Much: Christine de Pizan's Deconstruction of Courtly Love
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Christine de Pizan, Poet Courtly Love Literature- Verse Love in Literature
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 15
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  • Abstract: Christine de Pizan has drawn the attention of scholars largely for her important allegories, such as The City of Ladies, Lavision-Christine, and The Mutation of Fortune, works that address medieval beliefs about Women's Nature and their worth. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which her works on love, both lyric and narrative, address these same beliefs. This paper looks at Christine’s rethinking of the complex images of courtly love through her courtly ballads, The Letter of the God of Love, and particularly The Book of the Duke of True Lovers, in the light of her proto-feminism. Christine’s works on love give us the opportunity to compare a woman’s view of love with the images of love’s suffering found in poems by male authors. How do men and women experience passion differently in medieval French poetry? What are the “games” – amorous, political, and linguistic – that courtly lovers attempt to play? How does Christine’s love poetry configure masculinity and femininity? Finally, this paper suggests that Christine sees the ideology of courtly love as more than a game – what is ultimately at stake is the power to control language and thereby identity. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Cincinnati
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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