Abstract

Gent and smal, a phrase that occurs frequently in Middle English literature, is typically interpreted as “slender,” perhaps most famously in translations and interpretations of Alisoun’s descriptio in the Miller’s Tale. This article argues that the word-pair must be understood as a hendiadys that carries the connotations of both a noble character and a good build. Due to the phrase’s connotations of nobility, its appearance in descriptio complicates the traditional distinction between appearance (effictio) and character (notatio).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1528-4204
Print ISSN
0009-2002
Pages
pp. 371-375
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-05
Open Access
No
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