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Auteurs & Autrices :
  • Moulin Joanny
Mots-clés :
  • Bernard de Clairvaux
  • Medieval England
  • Marie de France
  • Self
  • Middle English Breton Lays

Résumé :

Starting from the fact that in the time gap between the oldest and the newest of the Breton lays the literary character as such can be seen to emerge, this article goes further to remark that women are the roundest characters. It aims to point out the potentially innovative take of research writers who have applied some of the methods of gender and post-colonial studies to the study of theses medieval texts, considering that the lays, especially those that are adapted translations from Marie de France, are the produce of the ‘post-conquest’ socio-cultural context, in all its lasting complexity. For example, the influence of Bernard de Clairvaux, and especially his notion of the fortis femina (strong woman) offers a potentially fruitful interpretative key to the lays, foregrounding the apology of marriage that turns out to be one of their most unifying themes, as a literary equivalent of bridal theology. The point is then illustrated by a brief comparative study of this thematic narrative, more especially in Sir Orfeo, Sir Degaré, Lay Le Freine, and Sir Launfal, with some references to Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale as a point of comparison.

Type de document : Journal articles