The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Archibald, Elizabeth. "The Flight from Incest: Two Late Classical Precursors of the Constance Theme." 20 (1986): 259-72.
The various Constance works are connected by a number of plot similarities. In these stories, the protagonist runs away because of an incestuous proposition. Previous scholars argued that an Exchanged Letter links these tales, but in fact, they are also connected by the Flight from Incest as seen in the Clementine Recognitions and Apollonius of Tyre. Both works lack the Exchanged Letter, but include the Flight from Incest and are thereby linked to the Constance group. The Incestuous Father motif probably developed out of a matriarchal society in which men gained legitimacy as rulers through marriage.