Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 15181
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Smith , Karen.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Snake-maiden Transformation Narratives in Hagiography and Folklore
  • Source: Fabula. Zeitschrift für Erzählforschung 43, 40241 ( 2002): Pages 251 - 263.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Folklore Hagiography Heroes in Literature Margaret of Antioch, Saint in Literature Martyrs Snake Maiden (Literary Motif) Transformation in Literature
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: In the Christian tradition of vigrin martyr tales, the 'lives' of St. Margaret of antioch stand out as significant texts in the literatures of several medieval European languages. The events of Saint Margaret's 'life' (such as defying her father's authority, refusing to marry, being cast into a dungeon and swallowed by a dragon) have been interpreted in terms of the theological and pyschological meaning they had for their readers, many of whom were women engaging in various forms of religious practice, both in and out of convents. These literary and historical interpretations miss the significance of oral tradition and popular belief in the development of the narratives. A combination of approaches- Popp's structuralism and the hero pattern as synthesized by Dundes- makes it possible to se St. Margaret's life as an instance of the serpent damsel motif and to compare the narratives with each other.
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00146242
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