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"The Carbuncle in the Adder's Head"
Leo J. Henkin
Modern Language Notes, 58:1 (January), 1943, 34-39
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"To illustrate the Gospel precept 'Be ye wis as serpents" in his Confessio Amantis John Gower makes use of an interesting piece of folklore. It is the account of a 'serpent which that Aspidus / Is cleped' whose forehead is studded with the very precious stone, the carbuncle." - author

The author examines two components of this idea: the adder or asp that blocks its ears to avoid being charmed; and the dragon with a magical stone in its head. He concludes that Gower combined the two for dramatic effect.

Language: English


 
 
   
 
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