Women, Empowerment, and the Natural World in Medieval Literature 1200-1500

DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - Medieval Literature

SUPERVISOR(S) - Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy and Dr Roberta Magnani

RESEARCH DEGREE (MA by Research)

THESIS TITLE - Women, Empowerment, and the Natural World in Medieval Literature 1200-1500


SYNOPSIS

My research questions the assumption that women were powerless and silenced when it came to men during 1200-1500. I use the natural world to analyse medieval women (real and fictional) who empowered themselves to break out of society’s typical expectations and the presentation of this within medieval literature. I also compare the writing about women by men and writing about women by women. My research takes me down many rabbit holes such as: medieval society, medieval and Breton literature, philosophy, sexology, Celtic mythology, pagan societies and Catholicism to name a few. I focus mainly on texts by Marie de France, Hildegard of Bingen and characters such as Maid Marion, Mary of Egypt and Mary Magdalene.