Educating Richard: Incest, Marriage, and (Political) Consent in Gower's 'Tale of Apollonius'

Sebastian I. Sobecki*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    2 Citaten (Scopus)


    Gower's treatment of the incest motif in the "Tale of Apollonius" in Book VIII of the Confessio Amantis is embedded into the poet's discussion of kingship, which, like incest, emerges as being subject to legal discourses. Read politically, the portrayal of Apollonius would appear to sustain a host of often discordant voices, many of which articulate the text's desire to represent Richard 11: there is the ideal monarch, the flawed ruler, and the maturing hero. A balanced reading favours Apollonius as a narrative device oscillating between the functions of giving advice to a prince and issuing "constructive criticism" to a tyrant. The antidote to bad kingship and incest is administered in the form of good governance and marriage, two concepts that were undergoing radical reform at the time, namely the introduction of consent as their foundation. I will argue, therefore, that the successful integration of political and marital consent as a condition for good rule ties at the heart of Gower's advice to the inexperienced monarch.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)205-216
    Aantal pagina's12
    TijdschriftAnglia-Zeitschrift fur englische philologie
    Nummer van het tijdschrift2
    StatusPublished - 2007
    Evenement15th Biennial Congress of the New-Chaucer-Society - New York, United Kingdom
    Duur: 27-jul-200631-jul-2006

    Citeer dit