Medieval Romance and the Construction of Heterosexuality by L. Sylvester

By L. Sylvester

This e-book interrogates our principles approximately heterosexuality via exam of medieval romance narratives. regularly occurring configurations of romantic fiction comparable to male wish overwhelming female reluctance and the aloof masculine hero undone through love derive from this era. This e-book checks present theories of language and wish via stylistic research, reading transitivity offerings and speech acts in sexual encounters and conversations in medieval romances. within the context of present preoccupations with gender and sexuality, and consent in rape situations, this learn is of curiosity to students investigating language and sexuality in addition to these studying and instructing medieval literature and culture.

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This view is shared by Stevi Jackson in her discussion of the way in which individuals develop the capacity to interpret and enact sexual scripts. Sexual scripts are bound up with cultural notions of femininity and masculinity so that it is gender identity that provides the framework within which sexuality is learnt and through which erotic self-identity is created. Thus men and women learn to be sexual in different ways, to enact different roles in the sexual drama, to utilize different vocabularies of motive (Jackson 1995a: 18–19).

This may be supplemented by Hopper and Thompson’s model in which the focus of interest is the agency of the actor performing the process and the affectedness and individuation of the participant who is affected by the action. In order to analyze the transitivity choices in a text, the actors in each process are extracted along with the lexical realization of the processes associated with them. In the depiction of the moment at which Degrevant and Melidor become aware of each other, the actors and processes are as follows: 1.

He said] And therefore what ys hit? 8. ” 9. ” 10. And so she brought hit hym. 11. So sir Launcelot resseyved hit 12. ” 13. Than sir Launcelot betoke the fayre mayden hys shylde in kepynge 14. and [Launcelot] prayed her to kepe hit until tyme that he com agayne. 15. And so that nyght he had myrry reste and grete chere, 16. for thys damesell Elayne was ever aboute sir Launcelot 17. all the whyle she might be suffirde. Five of these processes have Elaine as the actor, and in twelve, Lancelot is the actor.

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