The following document is a meta-commentary on the article, "La misogynie à visage féminin: Hircan's Role as Marguerite's Anti-feminist Voice in the Heptaméron (VII & XLIX)," co-authored by Dr. Robert J. Hudson and myself, which will shortly be submitted for publication. It contains an annotated bibliography of all our primary and secondary sources and an account of writing the article. Our article examines what Marguerite de Navarre, the sixteenth-century French Renaissance author of the Heptaméron (a collection 72 nouvelles, all supposedly true stories being told by a group of ten devisants to one another), intended by her inclusion of the misogynist, Hircan. As we demonstrate, current scholarships views Marguerite as one of the first authors to create a space for women in literature, and further, that the Heptaméron was meant to serve the didactic purpose of forming young ladies' perspectives and behavior. Given this, Hircan, whose debasing views on women are shared in each of his stories and interlocutory commentaries, seems an odd devsiant for Marguerite to create; and so, we ask, why did she include him? We conclude that Hircan serves as Marguerite's straw man for the worst aspects of sixteenth-century French society, allowing her to subvert him and demonstrate how Hircan (and by extension, French society's) views towards women ought to be considered inappropriate. To support our reading, we start by explaining the historical context, demonstrating that the attitudes Hircan represents did indeed exist and were prevalent. We then show how Marguerite undermines Hircan: first, by making him so grotesque that the reader finds his views repugnant, and second, in allowing other devisants—especially Parlamente and Oisille—to use superior arguments to overturn his perspectives. Finally, we demonstrate how Marguerite uses Hircan's own tales against him, by having his fellow devisants interpret his stories completely differently from his womanizing and debasing purposes—instead find praise for women in them.



College and Department

Humanities; French and Italian



Date Submitted


Document Type





Marguerite de Navarre, Renaissance, Heptameron, Hircan, misogynie, misogyny