The Tale of Pygmalion (CA, IV, 371-436)

Brown, Carole Koepke

The Tale of Pygmalion (CA, IV, 371-436)

Brown, Carole Koepke. "The Tale of Pygmalion (CA, IV, 371-436)." In John Gower's Literary Transformations in the Confessio Amantis: Original Articles and Translations. Ed. Beidler, Peter G. Washington, D. C.: University Press of America, 1982, pp. 29-32. ISBN 0819115962

Brown summarizes Ovid's account of Pygmalion ("Metamorphoses" 10.243-97) and identifies ways that Gower alters this source in his derivative account in CA 4.371-436. Gower's Genius uses the tale to encourage Amans to avoid the sloth of speechlessness, a moral that Gower emphasizes by making Pygmalion much more verbally aggressive than his Ovidian counterpart, albeit somewhat more human. Gower "de-emphasizes Venus and the ivory maiden" to make Pygmalion's talk more important than Ovid's concern with transformation. [MA]


Gower Subjects
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis