This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
Approaches to paganism and uses of the pre-Christian past in Geoffrey of Monmouth and Snorri Sturluson
The dissertation is a comparative analysis of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s and Snorri Sturlusson’s descriptions of paganism and uses of pre-Christian history. What was the function of these pre-Christian narratives, and what apporaches were used by the two authors to construct a complete image of the past, acceptable to their contemporary societies?
The Public and Private Boundaries of Motherhood: Queen Igraine in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia and Laȝamon’s Brut’
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain is a tale of the rise of law, suggesting that there can be no Britain without law – indeed, that Britain, like all nation-state constructs, was law or at least a complex network of interrelated processes and procedures that we might call law.
In the Roman de Fergus, a thirteenth-century verse romance in Old French, Guillaume le Clerc considers the consequences of Arthur’s assimilationist expansionism with a more focused attention to cultural difference and personal identity, again centered on the experience of a knight from Galloway, the eponymous
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.
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.
“Hic Facet Arthurus, Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus:” The Analysis of Original Medieval Sources in the Search for the Historica King Arthur
The heroic tales of the legendary King Arthur have survived throughout many centuries. Modern society has learned of this celebrated figure through oral and literary tradition, such as the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudo-history Historia Regum Britanniae, Sir Thomas Malory’s romantic epic Le Morte d’Arthur and medieval Arthurian poetry.
Both heroes exist to save their people from doom. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, who authored Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) in 1136, Arthur ‘led his troops against the Saxons, who were still making trouble in various parts of the country, and after various vicissitudes he defeated them on a hill outside Bath, wielding a wonderful sword called Caliburn’1 (Ashe, ‘Quest’).