Notice that some of his arguments rejoin those of the Wife of Bath, who similarly defends sexual activity against those who would preach chastity. But unlike the Wife of Bath, Genius takes an exclusively male perspective. The metaphors used to describe sexual activity equate male genitalia with styluses, hammers and plows , while female genitalia are tablets, anvils, and fallow fields.
In all of these metaphors, men are those that act, while women are that which is acted upon. Men are subjects, while women are objectified. It is interesting to note that the metaphor of the stylus and the tablet equates the penis with a writing instrument while woman is what men write on -- an apt illustration of the "phallocentric" literary tradition of clerical misogyny to which both the Wife of Bath and Christine de Pizan react.
Selections III, Passage 4 pp. The end of Jean's poem uses the same metaphors found in passage 3 plowing, writing, etc. These pages don't need much commentary -- they are fairly self explanatory. Note the extreme crudeness -- even obscenity -- of the allegory.
Comparison of what Jean de Meun sees as the appropriate ending of the poem with what Guillaume thought was the appropriate ending see Selections III, passage 2 , above makes clear the difference in tone, attitude and purpose of the two poems.
While Guillaume is highly respectful of women, Jean regards them as little more than sexual objects. As you read these pieces, note what Christine objects to in the Romance of the Rose and how she responds to clerical traditions of misogyny. Notice also where her arguments coincide with the opinions of the Wife of Bath and how they differ. The God of Love's Letter written in was Christine's initial response to the Romance of the Rose in which the God of Love also played a prominent role.
It is not surprising that Christine would wish to "rewrite" Jean's God of Love whom we might more rightly call a God of Lust. But might she have had some issues with Guillaume's ostensibly more respectful attitude toward women as well?
Later this quarter we will meet up with a final "rewriting" of the God of Love, who appears several times in Dante's Vita Nuova. Between and , Christine played a prominent role in a polemical literary debate on the Romance of the Rose , a short sampling of which is found pp.
While the excerpt from the Debate is fairly dry, note how gutsy it was for Christine to defy convention and engage in a public debate in which she holds her own against prominent male adversaries whose reactions to her range from patronizing condescension to outright hostility. Recall that a woman's rightful "place" was thought to be the private sphere of home and family -- an opinion largely shared by Christine, who would willingly have remained "only" a wife and mother had her husband not died, leaving her with a family to support.
So while Christine vigorously defends a woman's right to an education and attacks the misogynistic writings of clerical tradition, she was by no means a modern-day "feminist. Apparently only a man -- or at least an honorary one -- could rightfully participate in public discourse, which Christine still saw as an exclusively male domain.
The Ambiguous Example of Christine de Pizan," Title Page, Copyright pp. Contents pp. Acknowledgments pp. Introduction: Rethinking the Rose pp. Reading the Rose: Guillaume de Lorris pp. Reading the Rose: Jean de Meun pp.
Jean de Meun and the Ancient Poets pp. The Illuminated Rose pp. Ekphrasis, Iconoclasm, and Desire pp. Roses are one of the most loved of all flowers. They are most delicate in the designs of the petals and they have a delicious perfume to them. One of the most popular color of rose are the red ones, which of course is a symbol of love. People often give them to tell someone how much they love them and to celebrate those special occasions.
There are many different colors of roses grown besides red. By combining colors one can make lovely bouquets for weddings and to use as centerpieces for dinners. Always remember to remove your gold bands before shower or exercise.
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