Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

English

Date of Award

5-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas H. Crofts

Committee Members

Isabel B. Stanley, Karen L. Cajka, Shawna T. Lichtenwalner

Abstract

The metamorphosis of man to beast has fascinated audiences for millennia. The werewolves of medieval literature were forced to conform to the Church's view of metamorphosis and, in so doing, transformed from bestial and savage to benevolent and rational. Analysis of Marie de France's Bisclavret, the anonymous Arthur and Gorlagon, the Irish tale The Crop-Eared Dog, and the French roman d'aventure Guillaume de Palerne reveals insight into medieval views of change, identity, and what it meant to exist in the medieval world. Each of these tales is told from the werewolf's point of view, and in each the wolf undergoes a fury or madness where he cannot seem to help turning savage and harming people. This 'rage of the wolf' lies at the root of the identities of these werewolves, reflecting the conflict between good and evil, the physical and the spiritual, and Church doctrine and a rapidly changing society.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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