Chapter

Impolitic Bodies II

Sheila Delany

in Impolitic Bodies

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109887
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855216 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109887.003.0005
Impolitic Bodies II

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The chapter opens with an anecdote on St. Christine, and the literality in which her story employed the use of the tongue. However, the main focus is on St. Mary Magdalene, St. Katherine, and St. Cecilia, whose lives and experiences are interspersed with symbolisms and incidents involving the tongue, mouth, and language. Each of these themes are examined and explored in detail, with references to the existing milieu which might have influenced Bokenham's narrative. Each saint in the group upholds the language theme—Mary preaches, Katherine debates publicly, and Cecilia argues cleverly—which is the root of their martyrdom, given the subordinate role of women and prevalent misogynism in their era. The chapter provides examples of Bokenham's artistry and skill in bringing out a faithful and original revision of the lives of these martyrs, through careful selection and perusal of available material, in contrast with the Chaucer's similar output.

Keywords: Bokenham; St. Mary Magdalene; St. Katherine; St. Cecilia; St. Christine; tongue; mouth; language; Chaucer

Chapter.  8456 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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