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Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance

Representations of Mysterious Female Power

Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance by Misty Urban
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This study treats the appearance of the monstrous woman in Middle English romance narratives as a self-conscious literary trope that reflects on, and often criticizes, the grounds of philosophical, cultural, and narrative discourse that place women both inside and outside medieval culture, constructing them as Other by biological and social difference yet relying on them for the reproduction and healthy maintenance of the male-governed social order. Building on current monster theory and adding to research on medieval women in literature, this study reclaims the Middle English romance as a sophisticated literary strategy that, in its narrative reflexivity—and its use of a fictionalized thirdspace—reveals how medieval rhetoric essentially makes women into monsters.
The Edwin Mellen Press; October 2010
295 pages; ISBN 9780773430266
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Title: Monstrous Women in Middle English Romance
Author: Misty Urban