Teaching Eros: The Rhetoric of Love in the 'Tale of Livistros and Rodamne,' the 'Roman de la Rose,' and the 'Hypnerotomachia Poliphili'
Mark Rothko, "Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)," 1949: oil on canvas, 81 ½ x 66 inches (207 x 167.6 cm) - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: Gift, Elaine and Werner Dannheisser and The Dannheisser Foundation, 1978: 78.2461


Dream Narratives
Rites of Passage
Rhetoric of Love

How to Cite

Priki, E. (2016). Teaching Eros: The Rhetoric of Love in the ’Tale of Livistros and Rodamne,’ the ’Roman de la Rose,’ and the ’Hypnerotomachia Poliphili’. Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, (2), 210–245. https://doi.org/10.13130/interfaces-7005


The paper brings together three rather unlikely texts, the thirteenth-century Byzantine romance The Tale of Livistros and Rodamne, the thirteenth-century Old French Roman de la Rose, and the fifteenth-century Italian prose romance Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, which are characterized by their lengthy dream narratives in which a first-person narrator is initiated in the art and the mysteries of love. Focusing on a group of instructive speeches contained within or indirectly connected with these dream narratives, this paper examines instruction as an integral component of the initiation process and as a powerful rhetorical tool moving the narrative – and the love story of the protagonist couple – forward. In doing so, the paper also highlights the ideas about love expressed in each of the three romances, the ways that they interconnect and the ways that they differ.

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