Magister Amoris: The Roman de la Rose and Vernacular Hermeneutics

June 2001
978-0198187547

The Roman de la Rose was a major bestseller–largely due to its robust treatment of “natural” sexuality. This study concentrates on the ways in which Jean de Meun, in imitation of Ovid, assumed the mock-magisterium (or mastership) of love. Alastair J. Minnis considers allegorical versus literalistic expression in the poem, Jean’s provocative use of plain and sometimes obscene language, the challenge of its homosocial and perhaps even homoerotic constructions, and the problematic translation of literary authority from Latin into the vulgar tongue.