, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 359–366

I Trowe He were a Gelding or a Mare. A Veiled Description of a Bent Pardoner


DOI: 10.1007/s11061-007-9077-5

Cite this article as:
Cocco, G. Neophilologus (2008) 92: 359. doi:10.1007/s11061-007-9077-5


By means of some veiled hints related to the figure of the Pardoner, Chaucer introduces his readers to a peculiar character whose ambiguous moral and sexual identity might be discovered in a far-flung Germanic past once prevailing in Anglo-Saxon England. The description given in the General Prologue recalls Old Norse Gylfaginning where Snorri Sturluson tells the story of Loki: a god who once turned into a mare. It is plausible to think that Chaucer might have drawn from a faded mythologema still known and accessible to his readers’ understanding. This Pardoner–Loki correlation stands as another testimony of the Pardoner’s homosexual nature.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Anglo-Germaniche, Palazzo BorgheriniUniversity of PaduaPadova (PD)Italy

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