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Function and Representation of Women in Fourteenth-Century English Arthuriana

By Kaci Loran West

Abstract: Arthuriana is a plastic literary world, one that is easily manipulated and altered by an author’s social background and particular agenda, whether social, political, or religious. Thus, fourteenth-century English Arthurian texts reflect each author’s social milieu through the use and adaptation of tropes for both male and female characters. This thesis investigates the function and representation of female characters through Arthurian tropes in three fourteenth-century English Arthurian texts: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” and Sir Launfal.

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