Chaucer’s Visions of Manhood by H. Crocker

By H. Crocker

This e-book argues that Chaucer demanding situations his culture's mounting obsession with imaginative and prescient, developing a version of 'manhed' that blurs the excellence among organisation and passivity in a standard gender binary.

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54 I will have more to say about appropriate distance as it relates to gender difference at later points in this book. In this chapter I want to highlight Bacon’s affirmation of human agency in relations with the divine, for it would seem that his willingness to acknowledge the necessity of human cooperation in spiritual salvation would open the way for a completely reciprocal theory of agency between persons. This is not the case, at least not in cross-gendered visual encounters. ” He warns his audience to be guarded “when it is necessary either in confession of for some other reason to talk with women.

Moreover, by assaulting Melibee through his wife and daughter, his opponents make visible the constitutive role these feminine figures play in Melibee’s character. The trauma that precipitates the tale’s dialogue, then, hinges upon Melibee’s misperception of what constitutes dominant masculinity in his culture. His opponents understand in a way that he does not that the determinants of masculine control reside within the enclosed space of the domestic. As he comes to understand, in the transformation of manhood that accompanies conjugal marriage, femininity is radically refigured as a display of masculine potency.

He does so, moreover, not by denying that vision functions in different ways across the intervening medium, but by charting sight’s multiple motions across its variable contexts. 47 Bacon attempts to see every aspect of vision, yet he must finally make sense of a mass of potentially conflicting points. Lest we forget, Bacon claims that the eye also has a part in sight’s operation, which means that there is a competing pyramid of vision that connects eye to object. In this area, Bacon’s theory is even more complicated than we might anticipate: because the eye sends forth species, these form multiple pyramids on every point of the object.

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