THE REPRESENTATION OF VIOLENCE IN LE BONE FLORENCE OF ROME

Abstract

Author(s): Hülya TAFLI DÜZGÜN

In medieval romance tradition, it is usually noted that women are seen most explicitly as a threat to patriarchal values, and that the combination of such things as adultery and murder of husband may be thought of as the signs of misogyny. Such tradition is frequently used in clerical antifeminist writings, in which the notion of female promiscuity is fuelled by the role assigned to Eve in the Fall. Likewise, it is usually suggested that the medieval romance heroine is clearly punished for her first marriages, unwanted and unconsummated though they are. However, this paper will argue that while misogyny does indeed exist in the depiction of the violated woman, the heroine?s wily resourcefulness in Le Bone Florence of Rome seems to elicit a more positive response in the hearts of medieval audience. Hence, such a romance seems to modify the general critical understanding of gender violence and misogyny, and this paper aims to explore how the figure of fallen medieval woman does not necessarily seem to suggest misogyny throughout the romances of medieval England.

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