Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England
This work explores and untangles the theme of rape, and its counterpart ravishment, in Anglo-French cultural tradition between the disintegration of the classical world and the Renaissance. Tracing debate and dialogue across intellectual and literary discourses, Corinne Saunders places Middle English literary portrayals of rape and ravishment in the context of shifting legal, theological and medical attitudes. The treatment of rape and ravishment is considered across a wide range of literary genres: hagiography, where female saints are repeatedly threatened with rape; legendary history, as in the stories of Lucretia and Helen; and romance, where acts of rape and ravishment challenge and shape chivalric order, and romance heroes are conceived through rape. Finally, the ways in which Malory and Chaucer write and rewrite rape and ravishment are examined. Dr CORINNE SAUNDERS is Lecturer in Medieval Studies, Department of English, University of Durham.
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Andreas Capellanus Anglo-Saxon Anglo-Saxon laws argument Arthur Arthurian becomes body Breton lay canon law chastity Chaucer chivalric Christian consent contemporary context contrast corruption crime death desire discourse discussion edition and cited emphasis enforced marriage episode example faery female force gender genre Geoffrey Chaucer Gratian Gravdal Guinevere hagiographic Helen hire holy honour illicit incubus issue king knight lady Laud Troy Book Launcelot legend line number London Lucrece Lucretia lust maiden male Malory Malory's marriage medieval Merlin Middle English Morte motif narrative nature notion offence offers Oxford penitentials Philomela physical Physician's Tale potential punishment rape and abduction rape and ravishment rapist raptus Roman law romance saints secular sexual violation shame Sir Gowther Sir Orfeo social society spiritual story stuprum subsequent references suggests Summa tale texts theological threat of rape tion tradition University Press victim violence virtue wife woman women Ywain
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