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This project strives to decouple the 12th century writer Heloise d’Argenteuil from her husband, the notorious Peter Abelard, establishing her as a significant thinker and writer, particularly in the tradition of women’s literature. Heloise, in fact, anticipated the querelle des femme of a later medieval scholar, Christine de Pizan, as she sought to combat stereotypical thinking about women within the circumscribed role of a devoted lover and wife to Abelard. Drawing on the work of Sally Livingston and others, I will examine various medieval discourses.

In her letters, Heloise is revealed as a figure aspiring to be viewed not as a wife succumbing to a man, but rather as a woman devoting her mind, body, and future to her husband. Thus, this paper will examine her rhetorical strategies that engender a conversation between husband and wife and enable her to consciously retain an unbreakable connection with Abelard.


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18 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Analyzing the Rhetorical Strategies of Heloise d’Argenteuil

  • Journal title
    • Papers & Publications

  • Volume
    • 4

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Graduation Date:

      December 2014