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This essay argues for silence as a dynamic actant and vibrant rhetoric. While Walter commits slow violence against her, Griselda in Chaucer's Clerk's Tale resists the predatory practice of exploiting nonhuman objects, which, within misogyny, women embody. Ultimately framed within an ecocritical paradigm, this essay is grounded in lessons from trauma studies concerning silence, as well as new materialist and ecocritical approaches. Whether focusing on emotional distress, environmental devastation, or the agency of materiality, these critical approaches cohere by making manifest and heard what has been repressed, silenced, or overlooked. Griselda writes her own narrative, patiently and resiliently enacting agency through her poetics of negation.
resilience; silence; Patient Griselda; negative poetics; ecocriticism; trauma studies; critical plant studies; medieval muteness; new materialism
Copyright © 2021 Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship
Morrison, Susan Signe "Insistent, Persistent, Resilient: The Negative Poetics of Patient Griselda." Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 56, No. 2 (2021) : 73-92.