Abstract/Details

Mothers and motherhood in the Middle English romances


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

In this dissertation, I explore the ways in which mothers and motherhood are represented in relationship to daughters in the three late Middle English romances, Sir Degrevant, Floris and Blancheflour, and Lay le Freine. Throughout my dissertation, I seek to shed light on the revisionary or utopian inclination that romances as a genre embody through their marginal characters, including mothers and daughters, and their transgressive desires. And I conceptualize mothers in the three medieval romances as agentic subjects who not only enact but also reshape the established power that is most often represented as patriarchal authority and patrilineal inheritance system. As I construct mothers as subjects who assume ambivalent agency, Judith Butler's theories on the relationship between subjects and the power have been very useful. As a way to think about the socio-cultural context where medieval mothers may experience their individuality and motherhood and exert their agency, I look into historical accounts, including the Paston letters, that register particular aspects of realities in late medieval England that are important to my argument but romances do not illumine extensively. Then, in order to investigate the psychological and affective dimension of mothers in relation to daughters, I make use of some feminist psychoanalytical and socialist approaches. These concepts help me to perceive how the overdetermined circumstances make impacts on the psyche of maternal subjects.

Keywords. Mothers, Motherhood, the Middle Ages, Romances, Agency, Subjects, Affect, Daughters, Family/Household.

Indexing (details)


Subject
British and Irish literature
Classification
0593: British and Irish literature
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Agency; Middle English; Middle ages; Motherhood; Mothers; Romances; Subjects
Title
Mothers and motherhood in the Middle English romances
Author
Yoon, Ju Ok
Number of pages
243
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549915881
Advisor
Diamond, Arlyn
Committee member
Adams, Jenny; Petroff, Elizabeth
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
English
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3337002
ProQuest document ID
304567491
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304567491
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