By Suzanne C. Hagedorn
Medievalists have lengthy been attracted to the "abandoned woman," a determine traditionally used to check the worth of conventional male heroism. relocating past past stories that have concentrated totally on Virgil's Dido, Suzanne Hagedorn makes a speciality of 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 point of view and query assumptions approximately gender roles in medieval literature.
Suzanne Hagedorn is affiliate Professor of English on the collage of William and Mary.
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Extra info for Abandoned Women: Rewriting the Classics in Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer
Its dispassionate, intellectual, emotionally anaesthetizing presence is a constant reminder of how far we, in our sympathy for a heroine, have departed from the traditional view of her situation, and it is a constant goad to the dissociation of emotional appreciation from formal articulation. 10 While Verducci's own readings of the Heroides do acknowledge the pathetic register of Ovid's text as deliberate rather than accidental, she takes a highly skeptical view of it. Verducci sees Ovid's pathos as what his 9.
Ironi .. cally, in the next book of the Achilleid, Achilles himself will be swept away by the winds, never to return again. In his fictional letter , the poet of "Deidamia Achilli" imagines the story four years later, when Deidamia's prophetic fears have been realized: apparently, she has already been hearing rumors about Achilles and Bri .. seis. Appropriately enough, the letter contains many reminders of the winds, sea, and ship that took both Achilles and his empty promises away, as the poet picks up various motifs from Statius and develops them further.
Here, Chaucer's creation of a "genealogy of abandonment" recalls Ovid's own father . son pairing of the perfidious Theseus and his unreliable son Demophoon, who leave behind both Ariadne and Phyllis in the course of the Heroides. Rather than functioning as allusive figures in the background of other stories, abandoned women become the main focus of narrative attention in two works that Giovanni Boccaccio composed after the Teseida. These poems, the Amorosa Visione and Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta, have received surprisingly little scholarly attention, even when considered only among Boccaccio's opere minore.