Gower Bibliography

An Ovidian Allusion in Gower

Hoffman, Richard L. "An Ovidian Allusion in Gower." American Notes and Queries 6 (1968), pp. 127-128.


Genius introduces the story of Virginia in Book 7 of the CA with the words "rihtwisnesse and lecherie / Acorden noght in compaignie / With him that hath the lawe on honde" (7.5125-27). Hoffman suggests that Gower is here paraphrasing Ovid's Metamorphoses 2.846-47: "Non bene convenient nec in una sede morantur / Maiestas et amor" (Majesty and love do not get along well together, nor do they dwell in the same place) (qtd on 127). Ovid's point that erotic passion and majestic dignity are incompatible is made in connection with Jove's advances on Europa. Since Ovid's proverb was "perhaps more frequently quoted in the Middle Ages than any other lines of the famous 'Ovidius ethicus,'" Gower's conscious borrowing is "scarcely surprising" (128). [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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