Month: September 2014

Detail of a miniature of Medea seated, uttering a spell; Jason on horseback, and the slaughter either of Absyrtus or of one of Medea's children.

Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance

I analyze Middle English narratives including the early sixteenth‐century translation of the prose Melusine, the Constance tale as adapted by Chaucer and Gower, and appearances of Medea in the works of Chaucer, Gower, and Caxton’s translation of the History of Jason to discover the ways these narratives use female monstrosity—in literal and figurative form—to dramatize the anxieties arising in a patriarchal society that defines the female as a slightly aberrant category of human