Catherine S. Cox considers the significance of gender in relation to language and poetics in Chaucer's writing. Examining selections from ""The Canterbury Tales"", ""Troilus and Criseyde"", ""The Legend of Good Women"", and the ballades, she explores Chaucer's concern with gender and language both within the context of 14th-century culture and in light of contemporary feminist and post-structuralist theory. Cox argues that Chaucer's attention to gender and language exposes the contradictory notions of woman in mediaeval culture. Further, resisting the imposition of modern, reductive theoretical concerns on mediaeval authors, Cox makes a compelling case for a Chaucer who both confirms and challenges the orthodoxy of his day, thereby countering recent arguments that insist upon a wholly feminist or wholly patriarchal Chaucer. Informed by a broad range of traditional literary and historical scholarship (including Aristotelian philosophy, mediaeval Latin culture, and the writings of the Church fathers) as well as by recent psychoanalytical debates related to post-modern feminist critical theory (including those of Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and feminist film theorists), Cox's study demonstrates the significant interplay among ancient, mediaeval and modern issues of scholarship and learning.