Margery

So when I first read The Book of Margery Kempe, I did not like her as a person. I thought she was completely nuts, an attention seeker, super selfish, and pretty full of herself. After our discussion in class, I changed my mind. She was pretty bad ass! Just doing her own thing, going on pilgrimage, standing up to important dudes, absolutely determined and not letting anyone stop her. I couldn’t shake the feeling that she kind of abandoned her 14 children to go on this ‘mission.’ I found this journal article that talks about how she actually gave birth to her last child during her pilgrimage. Since her book was autobiographical, the silence of this last birth during such a momentous period in her life seems odd. The author thinks perhaps she was trying to separate her life as a wife and mother from her spiritual life as a bride of Christ. Or she was going to rewrite her life and reject her carnal experiences, not mentioning her children at all. But it was crucial to mention her first labor because so much of the story stems from that experience. It also mentions that if all 14 children were carried to full term, that would have been 126 months of pregnancy. There were 240 months between her first labor and her decision to become chaste. That sounds like enough to make any woman a little crazy.

http://www.jstor.org.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/stable/438753?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=On&searchText=the&searchText=Birth&searchText=of&searchText=Margery&searchText=Kempe%27s&searchText=Last&searchText=Child&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DOn%2Bthe%2BBirth%2Bof%2BMargery%2BKempe%2527s%2BLast%2BChild%26amp%3Bacc%3Don%26amp%3Bwc%3Don%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff%26amp%3Bgroup%3Dnone&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

 

The General Prologue

I know everyone has probably read this at least once before, but this was my first time. I actually enjoyed this much better than The Parlement of Fowles. Chaucer’s vivid descriptions were great. I was picturing what each of the characters looked like in my head. Then I looked up some illustrations of each character. I pictured most of them far uglier than what I found on Google though. I don’t know anything about Chaucer or The Canterbury Tales, and I was wondering if there were film adaptations of these stories?

Bisclavret

After rereading Bisclavret, I found myself feeling very sorry for his wife. After being told that her husband was a werewolf, which is probably a deal-breaker in most normal relationships, she decides that she doesn’t want to be with him. It was stated previously how much she loved her husband so this was probably devastating. Also, she never cheated on her husband either, it was made very clear that she never even promised her love to that knight. She didn’t want to do her husband any harm, she just did not want to stay married to a part time werewolf. I don’t know much about that time, but I’m assuming that it wasn’t very easy for a woman to initiate a divorce. She knew if she took his clothes, he wouldn’t be able to come back to her. I think she was clever!

Unrelated, but also super relevant is this clip from a great movie.