She covers Griselda: from ambiguoius fictive character to the embodiment of various ideals, the socio-political implications of social exogamy, and the state-as-household metaphor and tyranny in the patient Griselda
myth: between political criticism and literary convention as propaganda.
Yet rather than picking elements from the three crowns and transplanting them directly and literally onto seventeenth- and eighteenth-century stages, Zeno modified, adapted, and recast a number of fourteenth-century heroes, converting Boccaccio and Petrarch's patient Griselda
into his own constant Griselda-Costanza duo, and Dante's Christian Stoic Cato into his own, eighteenth-century Neostoic Luceio.
Most of the characters of Churchill are hardly content in the end of their stories except Patient Griselda
who represents the patriarchal society.
Among them are Victorian explorer Isabella Bird (Marisa Tomei); Lady Nijo (Jennifer Ikeda), a 13th century Japanese courtesan-turned-Buddhist nun; Pope Joan (Martha Plimpton), believed to have headed the Vatican for a brief stint in the ninth century while disguised as a man; Patient Griselda
(Mary Catherine Garrison), an obedient wife depicted in Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"; and Dull Gret (Ana Reeder), the warrior who led her fellow village women to battle the demons of Hell in Brueghel's painting.
Brown first examines the genealogy of Griselda, discussing Chaucer's reworking of Boccaccio and Petrarch before turning to works such as A Winter's Tale and The Tragedy of Mariam, whose silent, suffering heroines are modeled on the patient Griselda
. Because Brown is interested in what she calls the "cracks" in the Griselda myth, she focuses her attention on the shrew-like "counter-Griselda," the subordinate character who ignores her mistresses' examples, challenges her decisions, and yet remains fiercely loyal.
Seated around a dinner table are the alleged female Pope Joan from the 9th century, the feisty Victorian traveller Isabella Bird, Lady Nijo, the concubine of a 13th century Japanese emperor, and Chaucer's doomed Patient Griselda
The characters are the supposed 9th-century female Pope Joan, the Victorian explorer and traveller Isabella Bird, Lady Nijo, the 13th-century Japanese Emperor's concubine, Patient Griselda
from Chaucer, Dull Grett or Mad Meg from Pieter Brueghel's 16th-century painting and Marlene, and a 1980s career girl who is pivotal - and a surprise - to the overall theme.
Ferdinand LeRoy refers to Patient Griselda
as his model wife and announces that he has "a horror of woman's rights, in every form.
"Household Business "synthesizes some important recent feminist and materialist work in the subfield of "domestic drama," while reading plays in the Patient Griselda
and the village witch traditions, along with domestic tragedies and some comedies.
Gillian's topic is Chaucer's "Patient Griselda
," a story she does not like precisely because it seems so emblematic.
Chaucer borrowed the story of Patient Griselda
from Petrarch's Latin translation of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron.
Three other essays discuss reworkings of Chaucer's tales: Piero Boitani, in an extended intertextual study, shows how Dryden 'improved' and Fletcher and Shakespeare 'radically reinvented' the Knight's Tale; Helen Cooper follows the 'shape-shiftings' of the Wife of Bath; and Anna Baldwin gives a balanced assessment of possible sources in Patient Griselda
texts for The Winter's Tale.