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Catalogue in a Mirror: The Medieval Misogynous Poem Woman’s Love and Anka A Satire of Marko Marulić

Split Literary Circle - Marulianum, centre for Studies on Marko Marulić and his Humanist Circle
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  • Linguistics


This article compares the medieval poem known under the title of Ženska ljubav / »Sliši vsaki človik ovo« (Woman’s Love / »Every man should hearken this«) and Anka Satira (Anka a Satire) of Marko Marulić. The poem Woman’s Love is the oldest misogynous poem in Croatian. A version of it is interpolated in just one version of the moralistic work Cvet vsake mudrosti (Flower of all wisdom) to be found in the Glagolitic Tkon Miscellany from the beginning of the 16th century. It was meant mainly for the religious, as a warning of the danger that woman, as demonic being, presents for them. Marulic’s poem Anka a Satire however speaks out against men. The most important feature in common to the two poems is their didactic ambition – the purpose of both poets is to defend the religious life from all the temptations to which it was subject. The two poems are characterised by a portrayal and a kind of a catalogue of all the negative features of the opposite sex, thus highlighting the advantages of a life dedicated to the values of the spirit. In the medieval poem it is listing and repetition that prevail, while in the Marulić poem the procedure is more complex and includes characterisation from a satirical point of view. The article refers to the linguistic and stylistic similarities and differences of the two in their elaboration of the topic.

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