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Title: Ambivalence between mercantile culture and chivalry in the alliterative morte arthure.
Authors: Woo, Damien Kai Ming
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: This introduction provides a “trustworthy” account of what the poem is about and touches on the knights’ chivalry, courtesy, manners and martial prowess. It is no surprise then that this epic romance very often gives readers a lasting memory of its themes on knighthood and chivalry. This point is echoed by George R. Keiser, who claims that even “critical commentary on the Alliterative Morte Arthure almost without exception emphasizes the heroic quality of the poem” (130). This “heroic quality” can be further explained by Larry Benson who “points out similarities between the Morte Arthure and Old English literature, arguing that in both [,] the principal concerns are feasting and fighting” (76). “Feasting and fighting” are primarily acts of consumption and expenditure which contradict the mercantile concept of accumulation. As a result, there exists a traditional conception of Morte as a poem that predominantly celebrates chivalry and its accompanying feudal system of governance. To further expound this concept, this paper seeks to prove the presence of strong mercantile undertones within Alliterative Morte Arthure which supposedly overwhelms its “heroic quality” and demonstrates the ambivalent role of the mercantile in both the downfall and reassertion of chivalric ideals. Subsequently, this paper would also like to prove the interdependency between mercantile culture and chivalry.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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