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Violence in later Middle English Arthurian romance

Poellinger, Michele (2013) Violence in later Middle English Arthurian romance. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Understanding the representations of violence in Middle English romance is key to understanding the texts themselves; the authors were aware of the cultural and spiritual resonances of violent language, and they often utilised their potential to direct their own meaning. This thesis explores the language of these representations in Middle English literature, from British chronicles to affective Passion narratives, in order to analyse the combat and warfare of Arthurian romances in their literary and social context. In particular, I study the borrowing of violent language between literatures, and its impact on the meaning and generic tone of the texts. If a romance invokes the Passion of Christ in the wounds of secular battle, what is the nature of its chivalric protagonists? Can a romance be said to express “national” interests in its depiction of warfare? How does violence reaffirm and discuss the behaviour of chivalric “individuals”? My research looks specifically at how Arthurian romances such as the alliterative Morte Arthure and Lancelot of the Laik are shaped by the culture of chivalry and an awareness of the ways in which religious, historical and romance texts express pain and injuring. The analysis of the language of violence can both invoke the maintenance of broader chivalric norms and revise associations of genre-specific vocabulary.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.595111
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2014 11:24
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 10:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5233

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