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Title: Looking beyond Guinevere : depictions of women in Chrétien de Troyes’ Arthurian romances, the cult of saints, and religious texts of the twelfth century
Author: Hayes, Lydia Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 9911
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis provides a reading of Chrétien de Troyes' Arthurian romances that reflects the cultural and intellectual context of twelfth-century Christianity. The impact of this context on Chrétien's romances is examined by identifying the influence that contemporaneous biblical expository texts, hagiography, and the material culture of the cult of saints had upon his work. Although scholars have devoted much attention to the study of Chrétien's romances, and some have examined the potential influences of various medieval Christian beliefs, practices, and symbols on his work, none have yet to produce a thorough study of these elements while focusing specifically on the female characters. Scholars have identified the influence of the cult of saints on the depiction of Guinevere in The Knight of the Cart, but have not examined this influence on the depictions of the ladies in the other four romances in detail. I look beyond Guinevere, examining all of the female protagonists in the Arthurian romances, comparing their attributes and actions to those of biblical women in contemporaneous biblical exposition and those of saints in hagiography. At the heart of this comparison is the relationship between the lady and her knight, a relationship that is described in similar terms to that between a biblical woman and God and that between saint and devotee.
Supervisor: Hudson, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Old French literature ; Arthurian romance ; Medieval cultural history ; Women's studies ; Chretien de Troyes