We are pleased to present the fifth volume of Medieval Forum.
The articles cover a broad range of interests, experience and
expression corresponding to a diverse readership, and we hope
that they will spark a lively dialog. You may contact the authors
directly, and/or you may submit your comments on the articles
and the website to the editors for posting.
“Turn, traitor untrew”: Altering Arthur and Mordred
in the Alliterative Morte Arthure
William David Floyd
The Alliterative Morte presents the reader with at least two questions in regard to characterization. One is the drastic change Arthur undergoes some halfway through, from prudent and virtuous king to cruel and reckless tyrant. The other involves the baffling change Mordred makes from humble and reluctant surrogate to murderous adulterer. Certain narrative gaps exist in the text wherein some explanation might otherwise justify these developments. However, we are offered some recourse to reconciling these factors. Because the poet saw it necessary to concentrate a good deal on the actions of these knights, it seems logical to consider their literary operation.
Lords Temporal and Spiritual: The Interactions of Papal and Royal Power
in John Capgrave's Abbreuiacion of Cronicles
This paper examines the reflection of the conflicting influences of John Capgrave's era in the presentation of the relations of royal and papal power in his Abbreuiacion of Cronicles. Showing the influence of both the perception of the divine as the source of all human authority and the political climate of his times, with the emerging sense of national identity, Capgrave captures the changing spirit of historiography at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The state is still presented as closely connected to ecclesiastical institutions but increasingly independent from the Church.
I Alisoun, I Wife: Foucault’s Three Egos and
the Wife of Bath’s Prologue
Rachel Ann Baumgardner
Throughout the body of feminist criticism that surrounds the Wife of Bath’s Prologue, two opposing schools of thought have emerged: those who believe that she is a representative of early feminist thought and action, and those who believe that Alisoun is nothing more than a pawn, skillfully played to satisfy male desires and fantasies. Out of this division emerges a critical dilemma centering on whether or not the Wife of Bath can be considered as a subject for feminist thought at all, since “she” is, essentially, the creation of a male mind: Geoffrey Chaucer. This essay attempts to prove the Wife of Bath’s position as a fully realized character within her Prologue, independent of Chaucer. Employing Michel Foucault’s theories on authorship found within his work “What is an Author?,” this essay will show that the Wife of Bath manipulates the majority of voices heard within her Prologue, thereby supplying her with agency that allows for the feminist critical study of her as an autonomous character.
J. R. R. Tolkien, Beowulf and the Critics
Ed. Michael D. C. Drout
Trans. Victor Watts and ed. David Fuller and Corinne Saunders.
The Complete Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer
Ed. John H. Fisher and Mark Allen
The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell
Performed by Linda Marie Zaerr
Submissions are now being invited and reviewed for
Volume 6, scheduled for January 2007 with a submission deadline
of 30 November 2006. Please see the submission
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