Monstrosity and transformation were intrinsically connected topics during premodern times. From Ovid’s Metamorphoses ( circa 8 CE) to Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies (560–636 CE), intellectuals of all fields of knowledge explored the possibility of human physical transformation, and its consequences. This dissertation will approach hybrid monstrosity in imaginative literature of medieval Iberia on the basis of its textual and formal representations, but also as the repository of cultural significance and ideologies that characterize a particular time and place. My study focuses on five medieval Spanish texts: the Libro del cavallero Zifar (Book of the Knight Zifar, c. 1300) often considered one of the first chivalric novels written in Spain; the Libro de buen amor (Book of Good Love, c. 1330–1343) a satirical and parodic poem fully grounded in both learned and popular culture; the Amadís de Gaula ( Amadís of Gaul) (1508) and its sequel, Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián ) (1510); and the Alborayque (circa 1454–74), an anti-Jewish illustrated pamphlet published in Castile at the end of the fifteenth century. My dissertation unpacks the concepts of monstrosity and transformation present in medieval European culture, and the ways these are displayed in a variety of texts in order to reinforce or undermine religious, gender, and ethnic anxieties. In addition, my research traces the shifts in attitudes akin to processes of transformation in monstrous beings between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. It will be clear that during the fourteenth century monstrosity and change were connected to religious identity, while during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the texts studied embody the political agenda aimed at unifying the Peninsula through the idea of the Reconquista (the Christian retaking of Muslim lands), and the cultural and social struggles between the different cultural and religious communities.
|Advisor:||Giles, Ryan D.|
|Commitee:||Myers, Kathleen, Shopkow, Leah, Wagschal, Steven|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medieval literature, Literature|
|Keywords:||Gender, Medieval, Monstrosity, Race, Spain, Transformation|
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