Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7930
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Olsson , Kurt.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Love, Intimacy, and Gower
  • Source: Chaucer Review 30, 1 ( 1995): Pages 71 - 100.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Gower, John, Poet- Confessio Amantis Gower, John, Poet- Mirour de l'Omme Home in Literature Literature- Verse Love in Literature Marriage in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: In Gower's "Confessio amantis" readers see a search for the secret, intimate places of the self. Amans, the lover, searches for understanding of his inmost heart in the confessional. The priest seeks to know that heart, while Amans pursues intimacy with his beloved. Both searches, result in Amans's psychological health indicated by his return home. Amans's intense desires for intimacy with the beloved include the longing for stolen, secret sexual embrace. His dedication to the beloved authorizes this desire. He does, unfortunately, give his love monetary value. In doing so he bypasses the possibility for genuine intimacy. Penelope, Alcyone, Alceste, and Lucrece, who appear at the end of the dream in the "Confessio amantis," raise questions about gender stereotypes, but are paradoxically defined by gender roles. Amans ends his search for himself at home, but the safety of home must not be taken for granted as the stories of the four women indicate. Gower presents marriage as a remedy to Amans's secret desire for intimacy. Gower also addresses marriage in the "Mirour de l'Omme," but the conflicting portraits of Adultery and Matrimony suggest that marriage is usually loveless. Both marriage partners partake of the consequences of Eve's sin, but women are considered companions, not subordinates, in the marriage relationship [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 Idaho
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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