, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 359–366 | Cite as

I Trowe He were a Gelding or a Mare. A Veiled Description of a Bent Pardoner

  • Gabriele Cocco


By means of some veiled hints related to the figure of the Pardoner, Chaucer introduces his readers to a peculiar character whose ambiguous moral and sexual identity might be discovered in a far-flung Germanic past once prevailing in Anglo-Saxon England. The description given in the General Prologue recalls Old Norse Gylfaginning where Snorri Sturluson tells the story of Loki: a god who once turned into a mare. It is plausible to think that Chaucer might have drawn from a faded mythologema still known and accessible to his readers’ understanding. This Pardoner–Loki correlation stands as another testimony of the Pardoner’s homosexual nature.


Grammatical Gender Peculiar Character Metaphorical Language Born Baby Subjunctive Mood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Anglo-Germaniche, Palazzo BorgheriniUniversity of PaduaPadova (PD)Italy

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