In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer depicts women as immodest and conniving beings to suggest the moral corruption of the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages was a time when women were supposed to be models of virtue, yet they acted contrary to such beliefs. As young women, they were supposed to strive for perfection and protect their virginity (Bardsley 96-97). In reality, women were often free with their virtues, and according to Francis and Joseph Gies, “The chastity of women was eternally suspect in the eyes of canonists, who perceived them as ever eager for sexual gratification.” Women were presented with conflicting messages when told that they were sources of evil, but were also told they were to exemplify the model of Mary (Bardsley 172) By modeling Mary, women were to be virtuous and holy and not self-seeking. However, women were far from this model of Mary, and they received little respect from men.
Virginia Woolf as Feminist and a Psychoanalyst When first introduced to the feminist and psychoanalytical approaches to literary criticism, it seems obvious that the two methods are opposed to each other; at the very least, one method -the psychoanalytic - would appear antagonistic to feminism. After all, there is much in Freud's earlier theories that a feminist would find appalling. It also seems to be a conflict that the feminists are winning: as feminist criticism gains in popularity, the psychoanalytic approach has apparently fallen into disfavour within the academic community. However, Freud's theories and psychological models continue to survive, and evolve, to the point where even certain feminists - namely the French - have employed aspects of Freud's theories to further their own studies. Critics such as Leclerc and Duras employ Freud's concept of the Oedipal Complex in their search for l'écriture feminine - a style of uniquely-feminine writing found in the pre-Oedipal stage that exists before the tyrannical foot of the father (the patriarchy) stamps it out.
Chaucer Review, (pgs 133-165) Stanbury, Sarah. (1997). Regimes of the Visual in Premodern England: Gaze, Body, and Chaucer's Clerk's Tale. New Literary History 28.2, (pgs 261-289) Weisl, Angela Jane. (1995).
Compiled for English 370B, Spring 2005. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2003. Pages 418-77. Wollstonecraft, Mary. “A Vindication on the Rights of Woman.” The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume 2A- The Romantics and Their Contemporaries.
The relationship between Antigone and her weaker, more cautious sister Ismene has not garnered similar attention” (Kirkpatrick, 2001). Though Antigone as a character can be analyzed through the lens of law and political science, her relationship to a weaker sister is more than interesting. As Antigone is willing to use civil disobedience to live by her own morality, the reader must also examine how a weaker and fearful person might not be able to use their own judgment and Ismene is a perfect exam... ... middle of paper ... ...f study within literary communities on these feminine relationships and that is promising as it is necessary to furthering the whole of Antigone and all it offers to readers. Works Cited Englestein, Stefani. “Sibling Logic; or, Antigone Again”.