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Title: Mother-son relationships in Arthurian literature
Author: Neat, Helen Lilian Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 3707
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines mothers and motherhood in Arthurian literature, and in particular explores the relationship between maternal characters and Arthurian heroes, focusing on scenes from both childhood and adult adventures. A number of Arthurian romances provide detailed descriptions of the education and childhood adventures of a particular hero, with the child often raised in a secluded setting solely by a mother-figure. Based on a selection of texts, the thesis explores and compares the ways in which Arthurian heroes interact with their mothers or substitute mothers, and examines the shape and extent of maternal significance within the narratives. The corpus consists of a range of texts: Chretien de Troyes' Conte du Graal and the anonymous lai de Tyolet, whose heroes share the same isolated upbringing with their mother in a forest; Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet and the anonymous Prose Lancelot, each recounting the childhood of Lance lot with his foster-mother in an aquatic realm; and the anonymous verse romance Floriant et Florete and anonymous chanson de geste Maugis d 'Aigremont, in which the heroes are raised by Morgain la fee in her Sicilian abode ofMongibel. The first part of the study is structured around the comparative analysis of these thematically and stylistically distinct works, with particular regard to the influence of mother-figures on the hero and their position within the narrative. This is followed by a closer examination of the maternal characters highlighted during the first chapters, exploring their characterisations, their roles and functions within the narratives, and their influence on the heroes. Particularly significant themes considered in this final section are identity, nature, nurture and the supernatural, each of which are demonstrated to be consistently key elements of the Arthurian mother-son relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available