This project strives to decouple the 12th century writer Heloise d’Argenteuil from her husband, the notorious Peter Abelard, establishing her as a significant thinker and writer, particularly in the tradition of women’s literature. Heloise, in fact, anticipated the querelle des femme of a later medieval scholar, Christine de Pizan, as she sought to combat stereotypical thinking about women within the circumscribed role of a devoted lover and wife to Abelard. Drawing on the work of Sally Livingston and others, I will examine various medieval discourses.
In her letters, Heloise is revealed as a figure aspiring to be viewed not as a wife succumbing to a man, but rather as a woman devoting her mind, body, and future to her husband. Thus, this paper will examine her rhetorical strategies that engender a conversation between husband and wife and enable her to consciously retain an unbreakable connection with Abelard.
Wiltgen, Sara M.
"“I shall read that you are my husband and you shall see me sign myself your wife”: Analyzing the Rhetorical Strategies of Heloise d’Argenteuil,"
Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 4
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/papersandpubs/vol4/iss1/8
European History Commons, History of Gender Commons, History of Religion Commons, Medieval History Commons, Medieval Studies Commons, Other English Language and Literature Commons, Other French and Francophone Language and Literature Commons, Women's History Commons