Gower Bibliography

'Tho love made him an hard eschange' and 'With false brocage hath take usure': Narcissus and Echo in the Confessio Amantis

Shoaf, R. A.. "'Tho love made him an hard eschange' and 'With false brocage hath take usure': Narcissus and Echo in the Confessio Amantis." Mediaevalia 16 (1993), pp. 197-207.

Review

Analyzes two of Gower's tales as examples of Gower's typically "determinate" reading — setting out prescriptively the meaning of the stories he retells from Ovid — in contrast to the "indeterminate" reading more typical of Chaucer. The way in which Gower has chosen to read Ovid is informed, in Shoaf's account, by Freud. In the key lines that Shoaf cites, Gower reveals his "understanding of the economy of eros and thanatos in the human psyche" (p. 201), mixing classical and Christian notions in order to condemn Narcissus for his presumptuous refusal to give his love and Echo for her avaricious procuration. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 13.1]

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Guest issue edited by Robert F. Yeager.
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata