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Information for Quiz I and Ancrene Wisse: Part II, III, VII. Terms From Yesterday. The four cardinal virtues Psychomachia Allegory Anima, Animus (be able to list qualities) Mastered and unmastered flesh Vocabulary: astute, mnemonic, psychomachia, genre. Quiz I: On The Wooing….

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Information for quiz i and ancrene wisse part ii iii vii l.jpg

Information for Quiz IandAncrene Wisse:Part II, III, VII


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Terms From Yesterday

  • The four cardinal virtues

  • Psychomachia

  • Allegory

  • Anima, Animus (be able to list qualities)

  • Mastered and unmastered flesh

  • Vocabulary: astute, mnemonic, psychomachia, genre


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Quiz I: On The Wooing…

  • Persuasive love letter written for anchoresses

  • Uses qualities of the ideal lover to describe Christ

  • Three enemies: world, flesh, devil

  • Literal use of bridal mysticism (bride of Christ)

  • Draws from the Song of Songs

  • Meditation on the Passion and purpose for it

  • On p. 256, the idea that her body will metaphorically hang “on cross” by her being in the anchorhold.

  • How does this work appeal to its audience?


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Quiz I: Sawles Warde…

  • Part of the Katherine Group

  • A psychomachia, an allegory

  • Reason vs. Flesh (man vs. woman); anima, animus

  • Four cardinal virtues

  • Description of hell

  • Description of heaven

  • Fear and Love of Life as both being instructive

  • Advice to audience at end


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Quiz I: Ancrene Wisse, Part II

  • Warns against trusting the five senses.

  • Compares the anchoress’ body to the anchorhold; it should be kept “closed.”

  • Know the argument for the eyes as the windows to the soul.

  • Advises silence; injunction against women preaching; beware of flattery (80).

  • Feeling needs to be guarded the most (89).

  • Parallel drawn between 5 wounds and the 5 senses (90)

  • Reference to digging one’s grave (bottom of 91).

  • The five senses as guards of the heart.


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Ancrene Wisse: Background Info

  • Written for three biological sisters

  • Written to appeal to aristocratic women

  • Written in English West Midlands c. 1225-1250

  • Is a guide for anchoress on how to conduct themselves (a spiritual conduct book)

  • Also meant to be a comfort to them and to protect them from danger


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Ancrene Wisse: Part II (On Physical Senses)

  • Guarding the five senses; (the open body)

  • Most concerned about sight, speech and hearing; (gate of hell)

  • Senses were seen as openings available to temptation, especially in women

  • Three windows in the cell: onto church, onto the “world,” and connecting to the helpers.

  • Biblical examples lend authenticity to the writing; the Bible is the ultimate written authority.

  • There is a parallel between the anchorhold and her enclosed body.

  • She is to protect her reputation from scandal.

  • Warns against flattery and gossipers (backbiters).

  • Advises mature words, mature manners and actions

  • Parallel between the five wounds and the five senses.


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Ancrene Wisse: Part VII (Love)

  • Love is the most important virtue.

  • A pure heart makes a person act for God and others, and to love God only.

  • Allegorical tale of Christ as a courtly lover

    (pp. 190-191). Here, Soul is a lady, Christ is a king.

  • Four kinds of love: philos, eros, maternal love, love of life. Agape, Christ’s love, transcends all of these.


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On Love and Christ’s Wooing

  • Human love can be voluntary, mercenary (for sale), or servile (by force). This is from St. Bernard.

  • Chastity (chaste purity) is necessary, he says, in order to love Christ. Yet, a widow and wife can love God as well as a virgin can. Yet virginity is seen as a higher calling.

  • Christ continues to woo the Soul by arguing for his courtly gifts: castles, kingdoms, wealth, beauty, swiftness, strength, generosity (p. 194).

  • Kindle love in heart; pour “Greek fire” on any strife in your heart. Keep purity of heart.

  • Love binds God and is the rule of the heart.


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Ancrene Wisse: Part III (Inner Feelings)

  • On Anger:

    Metaphor of the Pelican: so angry it kills its young; it grieves; restores young to life with its blood.

  • The angry anchoress destroys her good works and has to repent to restore them.

  • Ways to deal with anger (p. 94).

  • Asceticism, and the true or false anchoresses.

  • Judith as good anchoress.


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A.W. Part III (continued)

  • Learning wisdom and knowledge: The eagle and the agate (a magical stone); p. 99.

  • Crucifix as similar to agate.

  • Taming the flesh (p. 99-100), yet protecting the body.

  • Spiritual anchoress as a lean bird who flies.

  • Be vigilant and do good (p. 102). Avoid desire for praise.

  • John the Baptist and the need for solitude (p. 107).

  • Parallel between anchorhold and the wilderness of the desert Fathers. God alone is enough (p. 108).


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A.W. Part III (continued)

  • Reasons to love solitary life…

  • Security (the flesh as a fragile vessel that need solitude)

  • Gaining heaven (avoiding the “world”)

  • Proof of nobility and largesse (a lady wouldn’t carry baggage; the anchoress shouldn’t carry the “world” with her)

  • Generosity

  • To be brighter

  • To be a living prayer


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A.W. Part III (continued)

  • The sparrow and humility

  • The need for bodily illness and temptations of the flesh; they make a person humble.

  • Part IV list temptations and ways to oppose them.


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