Gower Bibliography

The Tale of Deianira and Nessus (CA, II, 2145-2307)

Brown, Carole Koepke. "The Tale of Deianira and Nessus (CA, II, 2145-2307)." In John Gower's Literary Transformations in the Confessio Amantis: Original Articles and Translations. Ed. Beidler, Peter G. Washington, D. C.: University Press of America, 1982, pp. 15-19. ISBN 0819115962


Brown summarizes Ovid's account of "unjustified pain and sorrow" ("Metamorphoses" 9.93-133) and identifies ways that Gower alters Ovid's version in his own account of Deianira, Hercules, and Nessus in CA 2.2145-2307. Gower "moves to center stage" Nessus's abduction of Deianira and use of a love charm in order to demonstrate "Falssemblant" as a form of envy, reducing Deianira to "an innocent victim of another's hypocrisy" and deemphasizing Hercules's role in the plot while making him more human and less heroic.[MA]

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

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