The Poetics of the Self and/as the Other in Hoccleve’s “La Male Regle”
Keywords:Hoccleve, “La Male Regle”, the poetics of the self, the other, masculinity
“La Male Regle” is one of Thomas Hoccleve’s autobiographical poems in which the poet displays not only humour but also self-confrontation. Listing all his follies, which are attributed to his youth, the persona stands out as a “self” that has transformed from being the “other” that has committed many sins. In this way, the persona of “La Male Regle,” also named Hoccleve, exhibits a complaint of the “other” self with a confessional tone. Moreover, the poem highlights not just the process but also the reasons of othering his self, which reveals the social dimension of identity. Othering stands out as the outcome of social impositions and religious doctrines on masculine identity. Unveiling the social aspect of masculinity, “La Male Regle” demonstrates identity to be performed, shaped and acknowledged in the society in which it is situated. Using his poem as a textual platform for othering, Hoccleve displays the influence of society on one’s identity formation and protecting reputation in the community. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyse Hoccleve’s “La Male Regle” as a reflection of Hoccleve’s confrontation with his self that is othered by his follies. In this way, the article aims at presenting a discussion of Hoccleve’s poetics of the self and/as the othered self in his “La Male Regle.”
Aers, D. (1988). Community, gender, and individual identity: English writing 1360-1430. London and New York: Routledge.
Bennett, H. S. (1954). Chaucer and the fifteenth century. New York: Oxford University Press.
Butler, J. (2011). Bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of “sex.” New York and London: Routledge.
Bertolet, C. E. (2015). Social corrections: Hoccleve’s La Male Regle and textual identity. Papers on language and literature 51.3, 270-298.
Bertolet, C. E. (2016). Chaucer, Gower, Hoccleve and the commercial practices of late fourteenth-century London. London and New York: Routledge.
Hoccleve, T. (1981). “La Male Regle.” In M. C. Seymour (Ed.), Selections from Hoccleve (pp. 12-23). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Jones, N. L. and D. Woolf. (2007). Introduction. In Norman L. Jones and Daniel Woolf (Eds.), Local identities in late medieval and early modern England (pp. 1-18). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Karras, R. M. (2002). From boys to men: Formations of masculinity in late medieval Europe. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Knapp, E. (2001). The bureaucratic muse: Thomas Hoccleve and the literature of late medieval England. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
Knapp, E. (2009). Thomas Hoccleve. In Larry Scanlon (Ed.), The cambridge companion to medieval English literature, 1100-1500 (pp. 191-203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kueffler, M. (2001). The manly eunuch: Masculinity, gender ambiguity, and christian ideology in late antiquity. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Lang, E. M. (2010). Thomas Hoccleve and the poetics of reading. PhD Dissertation, Washington University.
Neal, D. G. (2008). The masculine self in late medieval England. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Perkins, N. (2007). Thomas Hoccleve, La Male Regle. In Peter Brown (Ed.), A companion to medieval English literature and culture, c. 1350-c.1500 (pp. 585-603). Oxford: Blackwell.
Seymour, M. C., ed. (1981). Selections from Hoccleve. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Sobecki, S. (2019). Last words: The public self and the social author in late medieval England. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Uitz, E. (1990). Women in medieval town. London: Barrie and Jenkins.
Wakelin, D. (2010). Hoccleve and Lydgate. In Corinne Saunders (Ed.), A companion to medieval poetry (pp. 557-574). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Yıldız, N. (2014), Geoffrey Chaucer in-between: A medieval hybrid living in a medieval “Third Space.” International Journal of Arts and Sciences 7.5, 49-60.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Narrative and Language Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.