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Journal > Volumes > 53 (2022) / 2 (Summer)
Mannered Gender: A Hermaphroditic Blason in the Miroir de Jhesus Christ crucifié
Jacob Ladyga
Bucknell University

Marguerite de Navarre’s final poem, the Miroir de Jhesus Christ crucifié, is a strikingly original iteration of the imitatio Christi genre. Using anatomical blasons to represent Christ and sinner, Marguerite intertwines them in bodies whose unstable gender mirrors the poem’s aesthetics. The present article will explore the consequences of this relationship, first examining the role of the androgyne and hermaphrodite before passing to the complexities of grammatical gender and the problems it poses to poetic subjectivity in the text. The final sections will address mannerism and the poem’s visual qualities before returning to gender and blasons in the analysis of the Miroir’s conclusion. Ultimately, this article argues that through her blasonic approach, gender ambivalence, and mannered aesthetics, Marguerite reorients the reader’s attention toward the poem’s status as a consciously constructed work of art, a monument to the foundational contradictions of human existence, caught between word and flesh.

Pages: 405 - 434