„Aż się za cię wstydzę, gdy cię w tańcu widzę”. O kobiecości i wstydzie w poezji Jana Kochanowskiego (na wybranych przykładach)
„Aż się za cię wstydzę, gdy cię w tańcu widzę”. On Femininity and Shame in Jan Kochanowski’s Poetry (on Selected Examples)
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The aim of this article is to examine how the concept of “shame” functions in the works of Jan Kochanowski, in particular the relationship between woman’s nature, specifically understood by the Renaissance poet, and shyness. Both dictionary sources and contexts of Kochanowski’s poetry certify that the concept of “shame” was not clearly understood in the old Polish language: it had positive and also pejorative meanings. Shame conceived as an attribute of mind meant the same as modesty, prudence, a sense of dignity, or “the fear of infamy”. In the praising love poems, written in honour of women, and in the didactic works (such as "Dziewosłąb") “shyness” (sometimes also indicated by an adjective “shy” in reference to a man or a woman, or by a noun “shame”) is regarded as the greatest — next to the virtue — advantage of woman. Its absence, however, especially in older and mature women, is a serious flaw of personality. Shame, understood not as a human trait but as a feeling, has indeed a negative sense in Kochanowski’s poems (marked by the old forms of the verb “to be ashamed” in his poetry from Czarnolas). This verb usually signalled distress of the lyrical subject and psychological pain (for instance in the erotic poems about unhappy love), disgust, or a sense of aversion (for example caused by an improper behaviour of mature women).
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