HPU Professor Published Critical Chapter On Chaucer And Shakes

Posted on September 22, 2010.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 22, 2010 ? Dr. Jim Casey, assistant professor of English at High Point University, recently published a chapter, titled ?What things you make of us!: Amazons and Kinsmen in Chaucer and Shakespeare? for Cambridge Scholar?s ?Standing in the Shadow of the Master: Chaucerian Influences and Interpretations,? edited by Kathleen Bishop.

Casey’s essay was individually solicited for the critical collection and concludes the section on “Influences.” It discusses Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” and Shakespeare and Fletcher’s “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” paying particular attention to the various depictions of Amazons and kinsmen. Casey notes that most medieval and early modern descriptions of Amazons emphasize the way Amazonian women resist masculine rule. In Chaucer and Shakespeare, however, the women readily submit to the will of their husbands.

Yet Amazons are still dangerous, for they threaten the male-male relationships in both the tale and the play. Palamon and Arcite both stress their “friendship” and “kinship,” but as Palamon’s “aunt’s son,” Arcite would have been a member of a different patriarchal house, a house potentially in competition with Palamon?s for social and financial resources. Thus, because their kinship is “cognatic,” rather than “agnatic” (through the male line), the men fight to the death for the Amazon they both want to possess.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 42 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

Chris Dudley

Vice President for Administration


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