Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Elaine of Astolat and the medieval theme of dignified death from unrequited love


Downloads per month over past year

Jovanović, Kosana. (2017). Elaine of Astolat and the medieval theme of dignified death from unrequited love. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of History.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij medievistike) [mentor Ivić, Nenad].

PDF (Croatian)
Download (2MB) | Preview


From its first appearance in the 13th century Vulgata cycle and the Italian novella, demoiselle d'Escalot represents a literary character that influenced other literary creations, as well as other works of art. Rendered famous most notably by Thomas Malory and Lord Alfred Tennyson, as well as almost all of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, this medieval paradigm represents a contradiction of sorts. As much as her narrative represents a turning point in the narrative structure of the cycle and the signal of the impending collapse of Camaalot, demoiselle has not been a centrepiece for many studies. Based on the method of study established by the older historiography, she is even nowadays analysed only as a subsidiary character, one of the many women unrequitedly in love with Lancelot. This thesis aims to change that fact and give the demoiselle’s narrative the deserved place among the other characters of the Arthurian imaginarium. This thesis will provide an in depth analysis of the problems relating to the narrative of the demoiselle d’Escalot, that is the question of unrequited love, suicide, death and by extension its consequences in the form of subversion of the social order. The thesis will begin with the analysis of the content and the introduction into the structure of the cycle. Further on the thesis will also deal with the problem of dissemination of manuscripts containing the texts from the cycle. With the results of this research it would be possible to gain insight into the places upon which the dissemination of ideas brought by the texts took place. The two following chapters deal with the problem of authorship, dating of the texts, as well as the way in which demoiselle’s narrative is presented to the audience. The main questions arising from the demoiselle’s narrative, that is unrequited love, suicide and death and their consequences are analysed further, while the correlation of text and its context closes the main part of the thesis. By arguing in favour of those literary works and their significance for the medieval chivalric society of the 13th and 14th century, the main premise of this thesis will be to show a picture of the society as presented by the texts. The main problems present in the demoiselle’s narrative are researched from the aspect of critical analysis of literary texts, but also from the aspects of leading philosophical and theological points of view. This aims to demonstrate in what manner did relevant values became part of the literary text, and consequently in which way did the text conduce to the development of these values relevant for the medieval chivalric society. In addition, a comparative analysis of the sources will demonstrate how the demoiselle’s narrative is an exception for the women’s representation within the Arthurian literature. With this research an attempt will be made to present how the medieval society (in this case the French, English and Italian) related to such life circumstances. As the medieval audience, the aristocratic one, for which the stories were intended to in the first place, regarded the Arthurian romances as historical accounts, it is justifiable to use these literary sources as primary sources in order to form an opinion on how these societies, as described in the texts, reacted and dealt with such occurrences.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Middle Ages, Arthurian literature, emotions, death, chivalry, social order, women’s role
Subjects: History
Italian Studies
Departments: Department of History
Supervisor: Ivić, Nenad
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij medievistike
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 12:52
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 12:52

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item