Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Philip Rusche

Second Committee Member

John Bowers

Third Committee Member

Timothy Erwin

Fourth Committee Member

Elspeth Whitney

Number of Pages

82

Abstract

This thesis examines four medieval works, Beowulf, Pearl, The History of the Kings of Britain, and Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart from an ecocritical perspective. Specifically, it looks at how water affects the human culture described within each work, how the characters and their culture affect the water in return, and how they position themselves in regard to nature. This examination includes any relevant influences which affect the characters’ perception of the various bodies of water, such as the religion, technological advances, and historical background of the time period during which the authors wrote each work. It discusses each work in chronological order, and look at how the characters’ and audiences’ attitudes toward bodies of water have changed from the 10th to the 14th century.

Keywords

Beowulf; Ecocriticism; Geoffrey of Monmouth; Lancelot; Pearl; Water

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Medieval Studies

Language

English


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