Gower Bibliography

Fathers and Daughters in John Gower's 'Confessio Amantis': Authority, Politics, and Gender in late medieval England

Bullón-Fernández, María. "Fathers and Daughters in John Gower's 'Confessio Amantis': Authority, Politics, and Gender in late medieval England." EngD thesis, Cornell University, 1995.

Review

["This dissertation argues that in the Confessio Amantis John Gower uses the father-daughter relationship as the model on which he explores and raises complex social, political, and gender issues in connection with the definition and uses of paternal, kingly, and artistic authority. "Chapter One, 'Fathers and Daughters: Defining Authority,' discusses the methodological approach. I combine a feminist perspective, employing Judith Butler's theories on gender performativity and on the incest taboo, as well as Lynda Boose on the structure of father-daughter relationships, with a socio-historical perspective, drawing on David Aers' and Lee Patterson's studies on politics and literature in fourteenth-century England. In Chapter Two, 'Daughters and Father Figures: The "Tale of Albinus and Rosemund," "The Tale of the False Bachelor," and "Pygmaleon and the Statue,"' I examine three tales which problematize the structural resemblance underlying husband-wife and father-daughter relationships in the context of politics, in the case of the first two tales, and artistic creation, in the story of Pygmalion. Chapter Three, 'Liminal Daughters: The "Tale of Canace and Machaire," the "Tale of Virginia," and the "Tale of Leucothoe,"' studies three tales in which the daughters are the focal point for Genius' articulation of the father's anxiety over the control of their daughters' sexuality, thus highlighting the limits of the fathers' authority over them. As these fathers are crucial political figures, Gower also examines the limits of political authority. "In Chapter Four, '"Bot what maiden hire esposaile Wol tarie . . .": The "Tale of Rosiphelee" and the "Tale of Jepte,"' I analyze the ways in which social ideology regulates the daughter's sexuality, not so much through the fathers, but by different means — even through the authority of a narrator/auctor like Genius. Chapter Five, 'Redeeming Daughters: The "Tale of the Three Questions," the "Tale of Constance," and "Apollonius of Tyre,"' centers on three tales in which the father-daughter relationships work in the interests of society and of the political system. Gower's focus on daughters generates an effective metaphor for political relations in fourteenth-century England." [JGN 15.2]

Item Type:Thesis (EngD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 56 (1996): 3134-35A.
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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