| Quote #10
Swelleth the brest of Arcite, and the soore
This passage about the physical illness of Arcite reveals a lot about medieval medicine. It identifies the root cause of Arcite's malady as the "clothered blood," or clotted blood, that doctors are unable to remove from around his heart with their leeches. This blood is corrupt with venom and poisons Arcite until he dies.
| Quote #11
Shrighte Emelye, and howleth Palamon,
Despite the fact that Palamon also howls at the death of Arcite, the narrator here identifies extreme sorrow as particularly characteristic of women. The narrator says that women can become ill or die from grief. Besides revealing a common stereotype about women, this passage shows how medieval people were as aware as we are of the mind-body connection – the way in which a psychological upset can cause physical illness.
| Quote #12
So greet a wepyng was ther noon, certayn,
The Greeks express their grief over Arcite's death by scratching their cheeks and tearing their hair. This physical expression of grief creates wounds on the body as signs or expressions of the condition of the mourner's heart.