Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Thinking Allegory Otherwise$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brenda Machosky

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763806

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

What Knights Really Want

What Knights Really Want

Chapter:
(p.188) Eight What Knights Really Want
Source:
Thinking Allegory Otherwise
Author(s):

Stephen Orgel

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.003.0009

This chapter examines female agency within the patriarchal situations of sex and power in chivalric art and literature. Drawing on Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene and on a series of courtly images, it demonstrates that women are more typically active while men are more passive. By considering “what knights really want,” the chapter thinks through allegory without writing about allegory. It rejects the notion that knights are conventional allegorical signs and argues that chivalry is not a metaphor for some other ideal. However, in the figures of Spenser's knights, and in the women they love, the chapter identified a profound “message” about the tension between illicit sex and idealized love underlying the chivalric tradition. It shows that sex in Spenser, and in chivalry in general, is not a masculine action, but a feminine one.

Keywords:   female agency, sex, power, knights, chivalry, Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene, allegory, love, women

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.