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Document Details :
Title: Allegory and Mystagogy in Marguerite Porete's Le mirouer des simples ames
Author(s): DE GIER, Imke , FRAETERS, Veerle
Journal: Ons Geestelijk Erf
Volume: 86 Issue: 1 Date: 2015
The Mirouer des simples ames by the Hainaut beguine Marguerite Porete is conceived as an inner dialogue involving no less than 49 personifications, three of them being the main protagonists of the text: Amour, L’Ame and Raison. This article examines the author’s use of allegorical personifications from the perspective of the ‘mystagogic’ aim of the book, that is, the aim to guide the audience towards the divine and facilitate the journey towards spiritual transformation. First, in order to understand both the specific way Marguerite Porete used personification and what it enabled her to do to fulfil the mystagogic aim of her book, the Mirouer is situated within the tradition of medieval allegory. The second, and greater, part of this article consists of an analysis of the appearances of the three main personifications, their performative roles and the dominant voices they use. This allows us to trace the subtle way they change and develop as the dialogue progresses, as well as to track the evolution of the personifications’ interaction with each other. The analysis provides a novel insight into how personifications function in terms of the audience’s engagement with the text as a mystagogic ‘tool’ in order to aid its spiritual transformation and progression on the path to annihilated union with God.