Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

The Devil and witches

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

The Prologue to Chrétien’s Erec et Enide: Key to the Alchemical San of the Romance

eric and enide

Critical consensus holds that Chrétien’s first Arthurian romance, Erec et Enide, tends toward cultural and psychological realism.

Lancelot Can Keep His T-Shirt

Queen Guinevere questioning Lancelot about his love for her

If t-shirts had been all the rage in the Middle Ages, you can bet there would have been ‘Team Lancelot’ ones selling like hotcakes. You can also bet that I wouldn’t have owned one.

Queen Guinevere. A queen through time


According to Hopkins, “[Arthur’s] queen, Guinevere, is more elusive, less written about [than Arthur and his knights], and yet has been for centuries a central character playing a critical role in the rise and fall of the Round Table” (6). He goes on by characterizing her as “a key figure in the life of Camelot, this remarkable woman is seen variably as scholar, seductress, warrior, and dignified gentle beauty by the countless artists and writers who have depicted her. Who, then, was Guinevere?” (10) The purpose of this essay is to answer this question by looking at different texts and novels referring to the Queen.

Chaucer’s Arthuriana

Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur

The majority of medieval scholars, including Roger Sherman Loomis, argue that the popularity of the Arthurian legend in England was therefore on the wane in the latter half of the fourteenth century; as a result, the major writers of the period, such as John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer, refrained from penning anything beyond the occasional reference to King Arthur and his court.

Oh, for Shame: Public Perception and Punishment in Chretien’s Cliges


To develop this argument, a basic understanding of medieval society’s con­ventions is necessary in order to outline the parameters of this honor/shame cul­ture.

Looking Back: Medieval French Romance and the Dynamics of Seeing

The Romance of the Rose

This dissertation builds upon the work of feminist medievalists and other literary and cultural scholars to argue that sight, and objects that are seen, articulate love relationships between characters in medieval romances, and that seeing is frequently a locus of resistance to gender norms the texts both establish and refuse to accept.

Women and Their Fathers in Three French Medieval Literary Works


The significance of fathers with regard to their adult daughters seems to be composed of two dominant facets: protection and oppression.

The Medical Zeitgeist in Chrétien de Troyes’ Cligès


While reading Medieval texts, we often times discover special concoctions made of various ingredients in order to cure certain diseases and illnesses.

Healing Leaves

Page from the 6th century Vienna Dioscurides, an illuminated version of the 1st century De Materia Medica

Medieval French literature provides the modern researcher with references to the healing arts in many passages that are incorporated into prose or poetic works.

Women Characters in Arthurian Literature

Queen Guinevere and her maidservants lead a wounded Lancelot to safety. Married to King Arthur, Guinevere’s infatuation with Lancelot was mutual. This tragic love both inspired him to become the greatest knight, and ultimately bought about both their downfalls. Photo courtesy Sotheby's

The main issue, then, is how Arthurian women characters have been portrayed throughout the centuries and the reasons for those particular ways of portrayal.

Bounds of Imagination:Grail Questing and Chivalric Colonizing in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival


Bounds of Imagination:Grail Questing and Chivalric Colonizing in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival Hasty, Will The Grail, the Quest and the World of Arthur,  ed. Norris J. Lacy (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2008) Abstract The Arthurian and Grail narratives of the High Middle Ages, particularly by means of their adventures and quests, occupied a new territory in the imagination of […]

The Setting of the Tournament in Chrétien de Troyes and its Historical Actuality

But in Chrétien’s time there were already tournaments. From c.1160 to c.1190, when he would have written the five romances we know today, he was also witnessing the flourishing of a tournament circuit that was bringing the lords from the Anglo-French world together into a premier league of knightly teams.

The Influence of Marie de France and Chretien de Troyes in Medieval Romance and Story-Telling

Teaching medieval literature and history to high school students is a challenge since it is important to make the subject matter relevant to the students’ lives, many of whom think that yesterday is history.

Chartrian Influence and German Reception: Dating the Works of Chrétien de Troyes

Medieval Arthurian Romance

Chartrian Influence and German Reception: Dating the Works of Chrétien de Troyes Carey, Stephen M. Arthuriana 20.3 (2010) Abstract By examining the triangular relationship between the works of Chrétien de Troyes, Alain de Lille, and the German reception of French Romance, this essay argues for the acceptance of the dates proposed in Claude Luttrell’s Creation of […]

Orgeluse and the Trial for Rape at the Court of King Arthur: Parzival 521, 19 to 529, 16


Orgeluse and the Trial for Rape at the Court of King Arthur: Parzival 521, 19 to 529, 16 Westphal-Wihl, Sarah Arthuriana 20.3 (2010) Abstract The rape in book ten of Wolfram’s Parzival elicits varied legal remedies: a trial at Arthur’s court transitions into a reconciliation that in turn fuels a feud. This essay uses literary evidence […]

medievalverse magazine