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 organization and passivity in a conventional gender binary.

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When that community assembles, however, it is clear that men cannot agree, or that when they do, their SEEING GENDER’S ASPECTS 37 accord is not born of wisdom. Although a few sage members of the masculine congregation advise Melibee against war, they are a minority, which indicates that manly will collectively leans more toward rash violence than careful negotiation. Prudence’s counsel, at least in this initial instance, appears to be a failure. But I think we can agree that Prudence’s early counsel is a studied failure, a tactic that ultimately allows her to gain Melibee’s confidence.

As I suggested earlier, Bacon enables his vision of mutuality by linking the eye to the soul in his objective account of vision. In his interpretive exposition of perspective’s importance to divine wisdom, he makes this connection figuratively explicit. Recalling his scientific account of ocular anatomy, Bacon claims the eye’s complex structure is “the literal exposition. ”53 The scientific observations of optics, it is worth repeating, constitute the “literal exposition” [litteralis expositio] of spiritual truths expressed through figures of seeing.

44 This ability derives from what Bacon calls the eye’s “nobility” [nobilitatem] meaning its connection to the sensible powers of the animate soul. The eye is thus active in sight, though it cannot render sight independently of the object’s power. ”45 Bacon thus uses the eye’s connection to the soul to manage what otherwise might become the chaos of visual perception. Importantly, ordering the visual sense in this fashion creates a bilateral formation of agency with the potential to re-envision gender.

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