By Suzanne C. Hagedorn
Medievalists have lengthy been drawn to the "abandoned woman," a determine traditionally used to ascertain the price 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 lady permits one to think again old epics and myths from a feminine viewpoint 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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Extra resources for Abandoned Women: Rewriting the Classics in Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer
Vidual that significance really rests. Historically, this view takes on extra importance when we place the Heroides against the backdrop of Augustus and Vergil's Aeneid, a world in which the individual is a mere sacrificial lamb on the altar of community and principle) As Jacobson's comments indicate, the formal innovation of the Heroides makes a serious political and philosophical point-one that, he further argues, put Ovid distinctly at odds with the official values of the Augustan regime. Ever since the Augustan Age, Ovid's innovative Heroides has been perennially read, but not perennially appreciated.
Century abbot Baudri of Bour . gueil occupies a prominent place among the "Ovidian" poets of the Latin Middle Ages. 46 Baudri's interest in the Heroides manifested itself in the imitation Ovidian epistles between Helen and Paris that he composed, as well as in his own verse cor . respondence. The epistolary exchange between Baudri and a young nun named Constance, in fact, takes its flirtatious tone from Ovid's epistle of Paris to Helen. 47 While Baudri's epistle to Constance sounds more like the letters of male lovers in the second part of the Heroides, Constance's reply contains allusions that link her rhetorical strategies with those abandoned heroines whose letters appear in the first part of Ovid's collection.
Also translated in A. J. Minnis and A. B. , 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.
Abandoned Women: Rewriting the Classics in Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer by Suzanne C. Hagedorn