• The Maternal Performance of the Virgin Mary in the Old English Advent

    Author(s):
    Mary Dockray-Miller (see profile)
    Date:
    2002
    Group(s):
    Anglo-Saxon / Old English, Early Medieval, LLC Old English
    Subject(s):
    Medieval literature, Women's studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Old English, poetry
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6Q092
    Abstract:
    Throughout the Christian era, literary and artistic representations of the Virgin Mary have been manipulated by a variety of ideologies, religious or political, to define the appropriate positioning and agency of the feminine in a culture. The culture of Anglo-Saxon England, like most others, almost always presented Mary in positive terms, celebrating her for humility, purity, and passivity. In the Advent Lyrics of the Exeter Book, however, Mary’s ideal and idealized femininity does occasionally reveal its precarious underpinnings in metaphor and in its need to disempower the Mother. Analysis of the metaphors and diction that refer to Mary, especially in lyric nine, reveals her as a necessarily female, maternally embodied, active subject in spite of the text’s traditional figurative language. This reading as well permits twenty-first-century scholars to expand our understanding of the possible audiences of the poem to include professed religious women associated with Exeter Cathedral.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

    Downloads

    Item Name: pdf mdm_advent.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 8