The politics of romancing Arthur in early English literature : Geoffrey of Monmouth to John Milton / Le, Clear en_US
dc.contributor.department English en_US 2014-06-20T16:23:56Z 2014-06-20T16:23:56Z 2011 en_US
dc.description Adviser: Marion Hollings. en_US
dc.description.abstract While scholars such as Helen Cooper address the form of English romance over time to reveal the separation of the audience from the familiarity of its motifs, the specific ways in which the trans-temporal matter of romances engage with their historical moments also often become obscured. My study attempts more precisely to historicize each contribution to the tradition that I address within this time frame (ca. 1136--1670) in order to demonstrate the continued and particular uses of Arthurian matter to contemporary political discourses. In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (ca.1136), Arthur functions as a centralizing figure in reaction to questions of succession after the death of Henry I in 1135, resulting in the extended conflict between Stephen and Matilda (1135--1154). Likewise in Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur (ca. 1460s and 1485), Arthur functions as a unifying ideal, suggesting the importance of domestic political stability in reaction to the turmoil caused by the Wars of the Roses in the early 1460s and 1470s between Henry VI (r. 1422--1461 and 1470--1471) and Edward IV (r. 1461--1483). In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ca. 1375--1400), composed during the relatively calm succession of Edward III (r. 1327--1377) and Richard II (r. 1377--1399), Arthur's purpose moves from that of a galvanizing force among contested factions to a figure more representative of the cultural ideals, such as those associated with the chivalric code, that maintain social and political coherence. In Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1590 and 1596), Arthur, while ostensibly put forward as the exemplum of the virtues that will ensure imperial and cultural significance for England on an international stage, in practice, yields to the figures of Artegall, his half-brother, and Britomart, whose progeny, Elizabeth I (r. 1558--1603), displaces him in a political context that superannuated both his functions as symbol of national identity and paragon of chivalric co en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Arthur, King In literature en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Arthurian romances History and criticism en_US
dc.subject.lcsh National characteristics, English, in literature en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Nationalism in literature en_US
dc.subject.lcsh English literature Middle English, 1100-1500 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh English literature Early modern, 1500-1700 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literature, English en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Doctoral en_US
dc.title The politics of romancing Arthur in early English literature : Geoffrey of Monmouth to John Milton / en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
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