Enthymeme: In the Man of Law’s Tale, Constance elvish and deep connections to her faith associate her with the natural world thus providing a parallel comparison to the expectations how to care for the environment.
Radford Ruether, Rosemary. “Ecofeminism: Symbolic and social connections of the oppression of women and the domination of nature.” Feminist Theology 3.9 (1995): 35-50.
Robertson, Elizabeth. “The” Elvyssh” Power of Constance: Christian Feminism in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Man of Law’s Tale.” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 23.1 (2001): 143-180.
Siewers, Alfred K. “6 Ecopoetics and the Origins of English Literature.” Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (2011): 105-120.
Sources from Text:
“Initial description of Constance”
155 This was the commune voys of every man:
156 “Oure Emperour of Rome — God hym see! —
157 A doghter hath that, syn the world bigan,
158 To rekene as wel hir goodnesse as beautee,
159 Nas nevere swich another as is shee.
160 I prey to God in honour hire susteene,
161 And wolde she were of al Europe the queene.
162 “In hire is heigh beautee, withoute pride,
163 Yowthe, withoute grenehede or folye;
164 To alle hire werkes vertu is hir gyde;
165 Humblesse hath slayn in hire al tirannye.
166 She is mirour of alle curteisye;
167 Hir herte is verray chambre of hoolynesse,
168 Hir hand, ministre of fredam for almesse.”
169 And al this voys was sooth, as God is trewe.
“Constance who is broken and in need of care”
512 The constable of the castel doun is fare
513 To seen this wrak, and al the ship he soghte,
514 And foond this wery womman ful of care;
515 He foond also the tresor that she broghte.
516 In hir langage mercy she bisoghte,
517 The lyf out of hir body for to twynne,
518 Hire to delivere of wo that she was inne.
“Constance and Child”
834 Hir litel child lay wepyng in hir arm,
835 And knelynge, pitously to hym she seyde,
836 “Pees, litel sone, I wol do thee noon harm.”
837 With that hir coverchief of hir heed she breyde,
838 And over his litel eyen she it leyde,
839 And in hir arm she lulleth it ful faste,
840 And into hevene hire eyen up she caste.
841 “Mooder,” quod she, “and mayde bright, Marie,
842 Sooth is that thurgh wommanes eggement
843 Mankynde was lorn, and damned ay to dye,
844 For which thy child was on a croys yrent.
845 Thy blisful eyen sawe al his torment;
846 Thanne is ther no comparison bitwene
847 Thy wo and any wo man may sustene.