IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1620: Chaucer: Youth, Death, and Gender

Thursday 14 July 2005, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Britton J. Harwood, Department of English, Miami University, Ohio
Paper 1620-bWhat Saves the 'Hert' in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess
(Language: English)
Britton J. Harwood, Department of English, Miami University, Ohio
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Medicine
Paper 1620-cUncle Pandarus and Aunt Criseyde: A Case of Gender or Generation Difference?
(Language: English)
Setsuko Haruta, University of Oxford
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Middle English

Grouped by IMC Programming Committee
Abstract Paper -a:
My paper discusses a technical and educational text– Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe as a means of establishing an intra-generational relationship and transmitting knowledge. As Chaucer writes the treatise for his ten-year-old son, whose ‘Latyn [is] but smal,’ he reveals genuine affection for him.
My paper exposes Chaucer’s pedagogical and technical means of transmitting knowledge on multiple levels: from ‘dyverse langages’ in which the text was originally composed: Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin to English; from ancient cultures to Chaucer’s England; and from Chaucer, the father to Lewis, his son.
Abstract Paper -b:
The lengthy Ceys and Alcione passage explains how the narrator will eventually effect a return to health on the part of the Man in Black. Through the narrator’s famous series of comically obtuse questions, the Man in Black is forced to bring his dead beloved back to life in his imagination. Having done so he is stunned by the narrator’s question, “”Where is she now?”” While Alcione had been the passive recipient of news of her husband’s death and died shortly thereafter herself, the Man in Black is led to become active, even though it is the activity of visiting a loss upon himself. The attack upon the “”hert”” has been made to fail.
Abstract Paper -c:
In Book II of Troilus and Criseyde, we find Criseyde in a domestic setting, as the head of her own household, surrounded by her nieces and other ladies. Chaucer clearly suggests that the difference in generation between ‘aunt’ Criseyde and her nieces corresponds to the one between ‘uncle’ Pandarus and herself, and that his heroine is no longer a naive young woman but a mature lady to be entrusted with her younger female relatives. Antigone, the only niece that is designated by name, is introduced to contrast with Criseyde and explain certain aspects of her future action.