Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Catherine Emerson
French Studies
No Way to Treat your Mother: Understanding Petit Jehan de Saintré's Rage
Optional Fields
The surprising ending of Antoine de La Sale's fictionalized portrait of Jean de Saintré raises a number of questions concerning both the conduct of the two protagonists and the generic status of the work itself. Although it has been noted that the central relationship is defined in terms of mother and son, previous studies have not recognized the full implications of this reading and the extent to which it can elucidate the questions posed by the closing section. La Sale's writing exploits linguistic ambiguities and his audience's awareness of their multiple meanings to paint a portrait of a relationship that does not cease to be subjected to a maternal paradigm. In doing so, he presents an (albeit restricted) critique of the infantilizing tendencies of courtly society and court combat at the end of the Middle Ages.
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