Gower Bibliography

Mythopoesis and Ideology in Late Medieval and Early Modern Versions of 'Lucrece' and 'Philomela'

Renda, Patricia A.. "Mythopoesis and Ideology in Late Medieval and Early Modern Versions of 'Lucrece' and 'Philomela'." PhD thesis, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005.

Review

“To investigate how late medieval writers transmit ideology in their revisions of popular mythical narratives, I contrast vernacular reductions of Lucrece and Philomela with their classical sources to argue that the narratives perform specific ideological work in fourteenth-century Britain. The Lucrece narrative – involving the rape and suicide of a Roman matron and the subsequent transformation of government from monarchy to republic – envisions female political power, paradoxically insisting upon female self-destruction as that power. Employing intertextual analyses for different versions of the narrative, I further describe the modifications Lucrece's characterization undergoes that reveal an evolving patriarchal ideology, one that normalizes female self-destruction as response to victimization. . . . In addressing versions of Lucrece by Livy, Ovid, Augustine, Chaucer, Gower, and Shakespeare and versions of Philomela by Ovid, Chrétien de Troyes, Chaucer, and Gower, I have found that structures of ideology transmission reveal important relationships among several key developments, literary and social as well as political and national: namely, among the spread of literacy, the poetic use of vernacular English, and British national identity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 66.5 (2005): 1759A.
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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