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Emaré’s Fabulous Robe: The Ambiguity of Power in a Late Medieval Romance

Emaré’s Fabulous Robe: The Ambiguity of Power in a Late Medieval Romance

Tsai, Christine Li-ju

Medieval Forum, vol 3. (2003)

Abstract

This article examines Emaré (c. 1400), a late medieval romance consisting of incest and gift-giving motifs. It explores the social and psychological dimensions of the gift itself and the anthropological perspective of the gift-giving, interpreting the ambiguity of the cloth-gift in the context of the commonly perceived nature of the gift-giver Tergaunt, overshadowed by the Muslim deity Termagaunt, as an agent of supernatural malice toward humans. It investigates the domestic and political implications of both, attempting to gain insight into the response of the poem’s contemporary audience to this act of apparent largesse.

 

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