Historical Residues in the Old Irish Legends of Queen Medb: An Expanded Interpretation of the Ulster Cycle

Historical Residues in the Old Irish Legends of Queen Medb: An Expanded Interpretation of the Ulster Cycle

By: Diana V. Domingues (author)Hardback

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Description

Through the lens of gender performance theory, this study offers a substantially different way of reading and reclaiming Medb as a figure of empowerment than has been available before in Old Irish scholarship. Medb of Connacht, a central female character of medieval Ireland's Ulster Cycle is read traditionally as an example of a misogynistic, patriarchal Christian campaign to suppress and silence women in early Ireland, or as symbolic of a primordial, mythic pre-Christian goddess, exempt from patriarchal censure because her behavior is ascribed to her duties as a divine sovereignty figure. In addition, this work provides the first comparative and comprehensive character analysis of the Connacht warrior queen across numerous tales in which she appears as a major player, presenting a more complete picture of her character across the tales than has previously been offered. Such an approach also allows for a reading of Medb as a literary reflection of the socio-political tensions present in the historical period during which the texts emerged, and perhaps as a reflection of historical women who helped to produce those tensions in their societies, including gender-related tensions every bit as complex and complicated as our own are today. This work will appeal to scholars in medieval women's studies and Old Irish scholarship circles alike.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773436497
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 316
  • ID: 9780773436497
  • ISBN10: 0773436499

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