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Rape and Male Identity in Arthurian Romance, Chrétien de Troyes to Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11161

Rape and Male Identity in Arthurian Romance, Chrétien de Troyes to Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Title: Rape and Male Identity in Arthurian Romance, Chrétien de Troyes to Marion Zimmer Bradley
Author: Angeli, Anna
Advisor(s): Bishop, Stephen
Committee Member(s): Baackmann, Susanne
Peters-Newell, Marina
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Subject(s): Arthurian literature
rape
LC Subject(s): Chretien, de Troyes, 12th cent. Erec et Enide. English
Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599. Faerie queene
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Mists of Avalon
Arthurian romances--Adaptations--History and criticism
Rape in literature
Identity (Psychology) in literature
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: This work explores the evolution of troped rape in Arthurian literature from the 12th century to modern day. I focus on three works: Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec et Enide, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. In each, I examine the five functions of troped rape – the establishing of military prowess, the encoded patriotic message, the moral test, and the aesthetic and class marker. These five functions remain intact but evolve in accordance with historical and social context, the real societal conditions and common perception of women influencing each work’s representation of rape. In the 12th century, Chrétien de Troyes’ atypical Arthurian romances were still largely focused on the male characters, favoring their development over the female characters’. In the 16th century, Spenser also favored the male point of view but problematized his re-imagined Arthurian legend with male anxiety about women in power and the changing colonial military understanding of Elizabethan England. In the late 20th century, Bradley injected the myths with the female voice, undermining the phallocentric take on rape by writing it from the victim’s point of view.
Graduation Date: July 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11161

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