Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 6755
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Cooper , Helen.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Gender and Personification in "Piers Plowman" [Although most allegorical writings associate personifications with femininity (abstract nouns often being grammatically feminine in Latin and Romance languages), Langland’s Middle English poem genders personifications based on what attribute they are intended to represent, sometimes representing them as male and sometimes as female. The Seven Deadly Sins, for instance, are not personified as abstract concepts but are exemplified in the behavior of representative individuals (both men and women). Rather than seeing various figures in the poem as allegorical, medieval rhetoricians would claim they are metonyms (parts or attributes representing the larger whole). Thus male figures in the poem can be read as representing particular aspects of the (male) poet’s self. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Yearbook of Langland Studies 5, ( 1991): Pages 31 - 48.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Allegory Femininity in Literature Gender in Literature Grammar Iconography Langland, William, Poet- Piers Plowman Literature- Verse Metaphor, Literary Device Metonymy, Literary Device Personification Rhetoric Women in Literature
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Primary Evidence:
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: University College, University of Oxford
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 08902917