Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5106
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
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  • Title: Branwen, "Beowulf," and the Tragic Peaceweaver Tale.
  • Source: Viator 22, ( 1991): Pages 1 - 13.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Beowulf, Old English Epic Exogamy (Marrying Outside the Group) Folk Tales Folklore Irish Literature Literature- Verse Mabinogion, Welsh Collection of Tales- Four Branches Marriage in Literature Mythology Narrative Noble Women in Literature Pain and Suffer
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 8, 12
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  • Abstract: "Branwen, Beowulf; and the Tragic Peaceweaver Tale." Although it has long been assumed that the Middle Welsh tale Branwen Uerch Lyr, the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, is primarily a pastiche of story-elements from the mythological and literary traditions of medieval Ireland, many of the narrative elements of Branwen belong to the large, migratory stock of international folktale motifs and are better seen in the broader context of the traditional tale. It has also been thought that the narrative structure of Branwen is essentially that of a "calumniated wife" tale, though in fact most of the defining elements of such tales are missing from the Welsh narrative. The basis of Branwen is instead another traditional story of the Middle Ages, the "peaceweaver" tale, the best examples of which appear not in Celtic narrative but in the stories of Hildeburh and Freawaru in the "digressions" of Beowulf The Old English poem and the Middle Welsh tale both give us versions of a fundamental and widespread medieval story of the exogamous dynastic marriage which tries but fails to overcome social feud and political antagonism. [Reproduced from the journal website: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121213/?p=afdbc79947a4444b9739ff05942fde63&pi=0]
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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