“Doulce chose est que mariage”: Exemplarity and Advice in the Works of Christine de Pizan
Anne Marie West (Florida State University)
Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University, March 3 (2009)
In this study, I explore how Christine de Pizan challenges misogamist thought through the use of exemplarity in her works. Christine‟s defense of women in the late medieval period has been well-documented by scholars. Yet, she also addresses the criticisms of marriage prevalent in contemporary literature, which are founded on the principle that women are inherently immoral. In keeping with Christine‟s stated belief in the moral responsibility of authors, she directly condemns misogamist authors and their works that appeal to medieval readers including the Romance of the Rose. During approximately the same time frame that Christine records her opinions as a literary critic of these works, she features positive marital exemplars in her own writings that support her point of view.