Part 1 of Essay: Materials

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.



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