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Grammatical gender and the gender of allegory in The Faerie Queene
by Laetitia Sansonetti

Recently, as I was idly scrolling through social media posts before a day’s work, something caught my eye: a post by a restaurant in Britain which solemnly announced, ‘Here she is … Our menu in all her glory’. As a French native speaker in whose mother tongue the word ‘menu’ is grammatically masculine, I would not have expected a female personification of an inanimate “masculine” noun. As a specialist of English, I might have expected a neutral pronoun instead, and would not have been surprised to read ‘Here it is … Our menu in all its glory’. As a Spenserian, I should have known better. Read more…


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  • Leonard Britvolli 8 months ago

    Grammatical Gender and the Gender of Allegory in The Faerie Queene" by Laetitia Sansonetti is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of the fascinating interplay between linguistic gender and allegorical gender in Edmund Spenser's epic poem, "The Faerie Queene."

    Sansonetti's work delves deep into the intricacies of Spenser's use of grammatical gender in the poem, highlighting how linguistic conventions of the time shaped the representation of characters and themes: Her analysis is meticulous and well-researched, shedding light on how the gendered aspects of language influenced the portrayal of allegorical figures and their symbolic significance.

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    Wow, I was surprised to see a female representation of an inanimate "masculine" noun! It's amazing how language can challenge our assumptions and push us to think beyond the norm.

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Cite as:

Laetitia Sansonetti, "Grammatical gender and the gender of allegory in The Faerie Queene ," Spenser Review (Fall 2022). Accessed May 19th, 2024.
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