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Title: Dress, identity and visual display : self-fashioning in Middle English romance
Author: Stamataki, Alice Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 5619
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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Clothing 'speaks'. The act of dressing confers narratives of identity upon the wearer. The elite of late-medieval England understood the significance of dress; they utilised rich materials, strong colours and contemporary fashions to express, visually, statements of identity. These attitudes inform the expansive descriptions of rich dress in Middle English romance, in which a wealth of valuable materials, opulent accoutrements and contemporary fashions appear. Dress functions in romance as a visual representation of identity, providing an avenue through which wider thematic concerns find expression. For the Fair Unknown, the attaining of chivalric dress represents the integration of the individual into the courtly society. In the Middle English Breton lais, dress illustrates the internal fortitude of the Constance figure; it communicates also the transience of chivalric bonds and of kingship. In the northern Gawain romances, arming rituals and rich visual display represent the means through which chivalric communities affirm their identities. Using sociocultural detail, this study explores the significance of dress in Middle English romance, demonstrating that dress in romance suggests publically inner aspects of identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available