Venomous Woman: Fear of the Female in Literature

By Margaret Hallissy | Go to book overview

3
Venefica: Healer and Witch

Her old nurse's name was Thessala, who was skilled in necromancy, having been born in Thessaly, where devilish charms are taught and wrought; for the women of that country perform many a charm and mystic rite.

CHRÉTIEN DE TROYES, Cligés1

'Tis a common practice of some men to go first to a witch and then to a physician, if one cannot the other shall.

RICHARD BURTON, Anatomy of Melancholy2

In The Heptameron, Marguerite de Navarre tells the tale of a woman whose husband, an apothecary, is insufficiently amorous. 3 In fact, he takes no notice of his wife at all, "except in Holy Week, by way of penance." One day this neglected wife overhears her husband tending to a customer, another woman in similar plight, who asks the apothecary for "'some medicine that might change'" her husband. The apothecary prescribes a love potion for her to "put . . . in her husband's soup or on his roast."

Several days later, the customer reports success, and the apothecary's wife, eavesdropping again, decides to administer the same to her own husband. Her opportunity arises several days later "when her husband began to feel a chill in the stomach, and asked her if she would make him a broth." Into the broth goes the aphrodisiac, but she gives "no thought whatsoever to weight, measure, or dosage." The result is that he becomes ill and is saved only with the aid of the apothecary of the queen of Navarre. The deluded man learns his lesson: he has prescribed for someone else a drug he would not willingly take himself. He also admits that "his wife had only acted properly, seeing that she had merely wished to make him love her." The Heptameron storytellers, discussing the outcome, avoid the obvious issue: the wife's secret administration of "some medicine that might change" her husband as a devious and illegitimate arrogation of power.

-59-

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
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Venomous Woman: Fear of the Female in Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface: Secret Weapon xi
  • 1 - Introduction: Archetypes and Stereotypes 1
  • 2 - Mother Eve and Other Death-Dealers 15
  • 3 - Venefica: Healer and Witch 59
  • 4 - Woman and the Serpent 89
  • 5 - Conclusion: Beatrice Rappaccini 133
  • Notes 143
  • Selected Bibliography 157
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 176

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.