Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Deceived HusbandA Kleinian Approach to the Literature of Infidelity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alison Sinclair

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151906

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2019

The Cuckold

The Cuckold

(p.50) 3 The Cuckold
The Deceived Husband

Alison Sinclair

Oxford University Press

In considering the tale of a cuckold, Geoffrey Chaucer's Miller's Tale, and others, in the light of Kleiman analysis, there is a major distinction to be made. Within the character of the cuckold himself, one can observe an extremely primitive level of development, characterised by splitting, denial, reaction formation, and envy. As often as not, the cuckold is one who can barely tolerate the taking-in of information; that is, he is in an infantile state that appears to be prior to the paranoid-schizoid position, in which there is at least the defensive splitting of the self to cope with information, welcome and unwelcome, from the outside world. This primitive state of the cuckold as a character, however, contrasts sharply with what one can construe as the meaning of his portrayal in literature, and it is this meaning that this chapter explores first, before turning to examples of cuckolds in Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio.

Keywords:   cuckold, Geoffrey Chaucer, Miller's Tale, literature, Giovanni Boccaccio, splitting, denial, envy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .