“Into A Wyld Forest”: The Forest As An Ideological Space In Middle English Metrical Arthurian Romances
Pekşen Yakar, Azime
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The aim of this dissertation is to analyse the forest employed in Middle English metrical Arthurian romances as an ideological space. Through examining the Arthurian knights’ and the non-knights’ adventures, challenges, combats, encounters, chivalric relations, and spiritual transformations in the forest, it is argued that the forest is designed in accordance with the principles and precepts of the dominant medieval chivalric ideology. The concepts of space and spatiality are used to argue that space cannot be considered separately from the ideologies. Even, space carries and produces ideological meanings and is also produced by them. Therefore, it can be stated that the romance forests are constructed by the medieval chivalric ideology along with the influence of the origins of the forest, its classical and literary antecedents. Thus, the forest as a chivalric space is designed for the knight and centralises his needs and achievements. Hence, it functions as a space specifically created for the development and self-realisation of the chivalric knight. In this regard, this dissertation presents the analyses of the forests of chivalric ideology in the Avowyng of King Arthur, the Awntyrs off Arthure, the Jeaste of Sir Gawain, Lybeaus Desconus, the Marriage of Sir Gawain, Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Perceval of Galles, the Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, and Ywain and Gawain and argues that the forests in these romances present challenges and tests for the knight to endorse and confirm the chivalric ideology.
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