Abandoned Women: Rewriting the Classics in Dante, Boccaccio, by Suzanne C. Hagedorn

By Suzanne C. Hagedorn

Medievalists have lengthy been attracted to the "abandoned woman," a determine traditionally used to envision the price of conventional male heroism. relocating past past stories that have centred totally on Virgil's Dido, Suzanne Hagedorn specializes in the vernacular works of Dante, Bocaccio, and Chaucer, arguing that revisiting the classical culture of the deserted girl allows one to reassess historic epics and myths from a feminine standpoint and query assumptions approximately gender roles in medieval literature.
Suzanne Hagedorn is affiliate Professor of English on the university of William and Mary.

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8 Writing nearly three hundred years after Dryden, Jacobson similarly values Ovid's poems for their explorations of the psychology of love and their interest in the subjective nature of reality. Jacobson reads the poems as a 6. Wilkinson, Ovid Recalled, 106. 7. D. , Yale University, 1963, 360. See Jacobson, Ovid's "Heroides," 325-30, for arguments against these "rhetorical" views of Ovid's poetry. 8. The Works of John Dryden, ed. Edward Niles Hooker and H. T. Swedenberg Jr. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1956), I: I 10.

Medieval Literary Theory and Criti~ cism, c. 1100-C. 1375: The Commentary Tradition, rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 20-21. 28. Hexter, Ovid and Medieval Schooling, 157. 30 ABANDONED WOMEN ter expresses some surprise at this particular commentator's explication of the "finalis causa" of Ovid's epistles, for the fates of the "legitimate" lovers of the Heroides are not as edifying as the commentator implies. 29 Nev-ertheless, a later accessus even more strongly sets forth the view that Ovid's Heroides are a how--to manual for love: Utilitas est duplex scilicet communis et propria.

Sion would become a subject for scholarly dissection and disagreement, especially after it took on a literary life of its own. As this account of their verse correspondence suggests, Baudri, Con .. stance, and Heloise all assimilate the rhetoric of Ovid's lamenting hero .. ines into literary epistles that formed part of ongoing personal exchanges. In doing so, these medieval writers thus made use of Ovid's female literary personae to construct their own epistolary identities. But Ovid's Heroides also inspired imitations that are structurally more similar to their sources-poems set in the mythological past that were never read (or heard) by their intended addressee~59 For example, a little ..

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