ABSTRACT

This article compares the Pearl and Thomas Aquinas on emotions, will, reason, and the character of the virtues. I focus on the figure of the Jeweler, who in his struggle with grief and longyng, foregoes the high-medieval understanding of moral transformation found in Thomas. Pearl and Aquinas fashion distinct models of emotion, which differ on notions of desire, intellect, habituation, and practices. Ultimately, I demur from newer Pearl studies that tie the poem's theological and moral debts to Thomas and orthodox versions of pre-Reformation Catholicism, arguing instead that Pearl occupies a unique place in the late-medieval history of emotion.

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