Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7891
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Mieszkowski , Gretchen.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Chaucer’s Much Loved Criseyde [Chaucer portrays Criseyde as weak, inconsistent, and lacking selfhood, and this portrayal is in accordance with the Western male’s tendency to define his selfhood in opposition to a non-human female Other. Chaucer alters Criseyde from her literary precursor Criseida (from Boccaccio’s "Filostrato") by increasing Criseyde’s passivity; thus he renders her more pointedly feminine and attractive to male readers (including male literary critics). Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 26, 2 ( 1991): Pages 109 - 132.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Boccaccio, Giovanni, Author- Filostrato Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Troilus and Criseyde Criseyde (Literary Figure) Femininity in Literature Gender in Literature Literature- Verse Other Sources Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: In Troilus and Criseyde, the portrait of women Chaucer presents is based on ideas of the woman as Other. Criseyde is not the strong female heroine of other medieval writings. She does not take control of her life, but submits to the will of the male authority figures around her. Critics often praise her, and Chaucer makes her very alluring, but her attractiveness "diminishe[s] her selfhood" (110). Throughout Troilus and Criseyde Chaucer alters Boccaccio's characterization of Criseyde to make her more passive. She does not speak for herself, and her attractiveness is directly correlated to her submissiveness. Even when she maks plans, they are only to submit to the will of the strongest party. She does not, however, have a sexual relationship with Pandarus; though many critics believe that their relationship is incestuous, the text does not support such an assertion. [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Houston, Clear Lake
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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