Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and English Renaissance Texts

By Elizabeth D. Harvey | Go to book overview

2

FOLLY AND HYSTERIA

Duplicities of speech

Near the beginning of Erasmus’s Praise of Folly, Folly makes a bilingual pun that encapsulates much of the mock encomium’s irony. Joining the Greek words for fool and lover of wisdom (“morosoph”), she creates a hybrid word, which Thomas Chaloner in his 1549 English translation rendered as “foolosopher” (Erasmus 1979:13). Folly embeds this Greek term in her Latin text, and she says that, in doing so, she is imitating the rhetoricians who sprinkle Greek tags throughout their Latin works, “like bright bits in a mosaic” (1979: 14), and therefore come to think of themselves as virtually divine in their learning. These rhetoricians, whose claim to erudition rests upon their ability to use esoteric phrases or obsolete words to baffle their readers, are likened by Folly to horseleeches, since both use two tongues. Erasmus’s reference to the horseleech may well be derived from The Book of Proverbs; the first of the numerical proverbs says “The leech has two daughters: ‘Give, give!’ their cry” (30.15). As glossed by Renaissance commentators, the two daughters become two tongues, and the horseleech becomes a symbol of the insatiability of female demands, registered both in its putative thirst for blood and in its doubling of that quintessentially female attribute, the tongue. 1 The double-tongued horseleech points not only to the rhetoricians Folly satirizes, however, but also refers self-reflexively to The Praise of Folly itself, which is, after all, a double-voiced text, spoken through Erasmus’s ventriloquization of Folly. In this chapter, I will be investigating the trope of double-voicing as it is expressed in ventriloquism and in irony, the mode that governs The Praise of Folly. I am particularly concerned to explore the relationship between Folly and the feminine voice that Erasmus invents for her, since it is my contention that Folly’s gender expresses a cultural construction of woman that makes the feminine voice particularly suitable to

-54-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and English Renaissance Texts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Travesties of Voice 15
  • 2 - Folly and Hysteria 54
  • 3 - Matrix as Metaphor 76
  • 4 - Ventriloquizing Sappho, or the Lesbian Muse 116
  • Coda 140
  • Notes 143
  • References 158
  • Index 169
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 174

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.