Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Chivalry and Christianity in Amadis de Gaule
Author: Horn, J. R.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
Chivalry and Christianity were fundamental to both medieval society and its textual production of romance and epic. However, historical accounts of chivalry often argue that by the sixteenth century the military and social role of the knight had changed, and tournaments and chivalric honours had become mere pageantry. Meanwhile, Christianity was also undergoing upheaval as the Reformation and wars of religion split French society over religious theology and over the service that the knight owed his king or his faith. This thesis studies representations of chivalry and Christianity, and the changing relations between them, in the sixteenth-century French version of Amadis de Gaule, a twenty-one volume best-selling series translated from Spanish and Italian sources. This best-selling romance was produced from 1540 until 1582 in France and attracted many readers and critics. The first three chapters analyse different aspects of chivalry and Christianity. First, the use of clandestine marriage in the series (a practice legislated upon by both Henri II and the Council of Trent) brings out tensions between marriage sanctioned by God and that sanctioned by noble families. Secondly, the use of occult sciences for prophecy, enchantment and divine revelation is typical of medieval romance but suspicious in the age of the witch-crazes. Finally, the knight in the series becomes increasingly well educated (as the contemporary noble was advised to do), but this eloquence can decrease his heroic status, perhaps turning him from a noble ideal inspired by God into a linguistic model for the noblesse de robe. The final chapter is a case study of changing forms of chivalry and Christianity in a single book of the Amadis series. The chapter examines the incorporation of Jacques Amyot’s translation of the Histoire Æthiopique into Book 20 of Amadis. Amyot is fascinated by the in medias res structure of this text and by the narrative tension that it creates. However, his romance is set in a pagan world and its hero is weak. In the adaptation of the same plot in Amadis, by contrast, chivalric and Christian ideals are prominent and the in medias res structure is removed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available