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Durham e-Theses
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Transformations in Medieval English Romance

GOODISON, NATALIE,JAYNE (2017) Transformations in Medieval English Romance. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the role of supernatural transformation in medieval English romance. It explores corporeal changes of humans transformed into animals, monstrous men, loathly ladies, as well as the transformative effects of death. However, transformations could also alter one’s identity and interior states of being. Transformation in these texts is revealed to affect the body as well as the spirit. This symbiotic relationship between outward body and interior spirit is first demonstrated between two separate persons, and progresses to become localized within the one body and the same soul. Illicit practices of magic as well as the supernatural, powers of the faery otherworld as well as divine might, initiate these transformations. While romance transformations occur through various sources, both licit and illicit, the authors and redactors of these romances consistently employ religious imagery or belief at moments of transformation. This engagement with religious precepts proves to be surprising and unorthodox. As such this thesis explores the relationship between religious belief and the politics of disenchantment.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:transformation, transformations, magic, supernatural, medieval, romance, Middle English, sacred, secular, religious, belief, faery, fairy, identity, body, somatic, physical, interior, soul, otherworld, metamorphosis, enchantment, disenchantment, hagiography
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Apr 2017 13:35

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