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Charity and Interpretation in the "Heptaméron" and the "Tiers Livre"

Weems, Erica

This study examines charity in Marguerite de Navarre's Heptaméron and François Rabelais's Tiers Livre, two works of 1540's France that explore similar philosophical themes and follow analogous literary structures. Charity appears in these texts in contexts of community, friendship, and human nature, which are the topics of the three chapters in this work. Notions of charity in Marguerite and Rabelais's texts are rooted in exegetic tradition stemming from the Pauline Epistles and designate charity as a social model, distinguished by the love of caritas, as well as an interpretive model, characterized by an appeal to read in good part, in bonam partem. The works draw upon exegetic sources for notions of charity that appear in the writings of their contemporaries, such as those of Erasmus, whose adages, treatises, and encomia inform representations of charity in Marguerite and Rabelais's works. As the Heptaméron and the Tiers Livre develop notions of community, friendship, and human nature, they reveal the underlying precepts of charity in these contexts while also exploring aberrant figures and forms that contradict charitable models. These contrasting themes expand the narratives, ultimately contributing to illustrations of charity in Marguerite and Rabelais's texts.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Thesis Advisors
Force, Pierre
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 5, 2013