Virtue in early modern France was a broad concept considered by clergymen, philosophers, and moralists as an instrument for measuring and implementing human ethics. This unprecedented research seeks to track the development of the notion of virtue from a gendered and dichotomous notion to a unique and undivided term. The word virtue is constantly present in French texts such as manuels de conduite1 , since the medieval period. Thus, it can be regarded as one of the most significant concepts defining genders in Western civilization. However, it is difficult for modern readers to grasp the complexity of the debate unless it is explained through its socio-historical and cultural implications regarding gender behavior. What is the author referring to when he/she uses the word virtue? Is it chastity for women, strength for men, or just the achievement of the highest moral standard? What are the social implications of virtue? Through an inter and multidisciplinary study involving literature, religion, philosophy, folklore, women and gender studies, and sociology, this cutting-edge research revolves around the literary analysis of conduct manuals, plays, novels and treatises, from the middle ages to the 18th century. Its objective is to map the evolution of the notion of virtue by evidencing social fluctuation of gender differences and conceptualizing our western civilization through the lenses of its moral discourse.
Trinquet du Lys, Charlotte
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Orlando (Main) Campus
Saad, Mariela, "Gendered Virtue: A Study of its Meaning and Evolution in Early Modern France" (2016). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 146.
Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Feminist Philosophy Commons, French and Francophone Literature Commons, History of Gender Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other French and Francophone Language and Literature Commons, Women's Studies Commons