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Title:A feminist reading of la Vieille's speech in Jean de Meun's portion of Le roman de la rose
Author(s):Phillips-Batoma, Patricia
Director of Research:Fresco, Karen L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fresco, Karen L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kibbee, Douglas A.; Smarr, Janet L.; Smith, Yvette M.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Jean de Meun
Romance of the Rose
Old French Literature
Feminist criticism
Medieval French Literature
Resisting Reader
Reading Stragies
medieval misogyny
Abstract:This dissertation undertakes to produce a close reading of la Vieille’s speech in Jean de Meun’s portion of Le roman de la rose. This speech has been traditionally interpreted as ironic, but this analysis seeks to incorporate the work of feminist critics as well as a relatively new area of research on women’s lives in 13th-century Europe, to develop a feminist reading strategy that can be applied to this text as well as to other notoriously misogynist texts. The first chapter consists of a review of the literature on the Rose and brings to light the diverse ways in which this text has been read by critics. The second chapter focuses on a structural feature of the text as a whole, called imbricated structure, and describes how this feature can be identified in all of the major speeches of Jean’s portion of the Rose. This pattern has implications for reading and interpreting the themes and references brought up in each speech. A third chapter establishes the historical context within which modern readers can situate this text, that of 13th-century France. Chapter 4 offers a close reading of la Vieille’s speech, taking into account the structure described in Chapter 2. In Chapter 5, the conclusion, it is suggested that in order to become a resistant reader, to use Judith Fetterly’s term, readers need to become aware of and move beyond the patriarchal norms that have guided and continue to guide literary criticism.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Patricia Marie Phillips-Batoma
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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