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Women Refusing the Gaze: Theorizing Thryth’s “Unqueenly Custom” in Beowulf and The Bride’s Revenge in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume I

Women Refusing the Gaze: Theorizing Thryth’s “Unqueenly Custom” in Beowulf and The Bride’s Revenge in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume I

Jordan, Jessica Hope

The Heroic Age, Issue 9 (Oct 2006)  

Abstract

Like fantasy, film is a knife that cuts in both directions: it can provide crucial support for ideology, but it can also […] take us to an encounter with the gaze that would otherwise be obscured in our experience of social reality (McGowan 2003, 39)

The Thryth Digression at lines 1925-1962 of Beowulf disrupts a patriarchal narrative. The decision by Thryth to execute her retainers for openly daring to stare at her (eagum starede) spurs a comment by the Beowulf poet that suggests an underlying cultural assumption that a woman should passively accept being the object of the male gaze.

 

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