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THE POWER OF WOMAN'S WORDS, THE POWER OF WOMAN'S SILENCE: HOW THE MADRASTRA SPEAKS IN THE THIRTEENTH-CENTURY CASTILIAN SENDEBAR
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 109, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 110-120
Published by: Modern Humanities Research Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/modelangrevi.109.1.0110
Page Count: 11
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This article analyses the function of the madrastra's stories within the narrative construct of the thirteenth-century Castilian Sendebar. The bad wife is successful to a point in her debate of exempla with the King's advisers, despite the lesser narrative quality of her tales. I argue that this happens because, in accordance with the medieval discourse of misogyny, the power of the woman's words resides not only in their content, but in their very utterance, and, by extension, that the power of woman herself derives from her very presence and from her ascribed status as troublesome and destructive element.
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