본문 바로가기
  • Home

Rape and Ravishment in Troilus and Criseyde

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2005, (53), pp.199-229
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities

Yejung Choi 1

1호서대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

In the Middle Ages, raptus connoted not only forced coitus, sexual assault, abduction, but also seizure, dragging off, transportation, appropriation and theft. The English derivatives, rape and ravish had almost the same connotation. The glissement of the seemingly disparate meanings in these words reveal that women were regarded as a property of men and that they were denied subjectivity, particularly in sexual matters. Troilus and Criseyde witnesses the aetheticization or eroticization of rape in Chaucer's England. Abduction, rape and marriage or love were interchangeable terms just as women were thought to be exchangeable goods among men. Dreams of Pandarus, Criseyde and Troilus display their clandestine desire of rape which is represented to be indistinguishable from love. Bird imagery embedded in the inception and consummation of the love of Troilus and Criseyde show their conscious or unconscious involvement in rape. Cassandra's historiography which emphasizes causation and recurrent historical patterns suggests that the suffering of the women in Thebes will recur in the lives of the women involved in the Trojan war.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.