Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

English

Major Professor

Laura Howes

Committee Members

Mary Dzon, Thomas Heffernan, Jay Rubenstein

Abstract

This study shows how medieval poets adapted the romance genre to address contemporary concerns about the regulation and exercise of noble power. Analyzing romances alongside chivalric chronicles, medieval didactic texts, and modern historical studies of the English nobility, this dissertation explores the ideals and practices of chivalry in medieval England from the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) through the deposition of Richard II (1399). Chapters on Guy of Warwick (c. 1300), Ywain and Gawain (mid-fourteenth century), and Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale (c. 1388) argue that Middle English poets promote ideals of both prowess and lordship in their narratives of chivalric heroism.

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