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Medieval Literature - Book Report/Review Example

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Medieval Literature

Furthermore, he, during the battle with Hafgan, denies to strike twice once Hafgan was wounded. This shows a complex notion of character build up in this text. It is seen the stronger character is not always moral and the weaker character is fundamentally strong in this respect.
Again, Rhiannon, the horse goddess, is found wanting in terms of morality even though, she appears to be a strong character. She kills her infant and devours his. At the same time it should be stated that Pwyll, in marriage with her, develops into a strong character and immediately afterwards we find him mistreating Rhiannon for her inability to bear child. Thus, it is seen that falling from the grace of the reader or listeners is the basic concept of tragedy in the parameters of Celtic text Mabinogion. Here a character is given a higher position and is termed as hero or protagonist but the storyline gradually tends to devalue the character with low moral activities.
The same is true about another strong character Tyernon and the other weaker character Gwawl. Here too we find a transformation or transition of character from being stronger in moral to weaker and the vice versa. Hafgan on the other hand hardly goes through any such transformation but his death made him glorious in the context of the listeners or reader as it appear that his death in the hand of Pwyll was more of a chance factor than real defeat.
As a result, while contrasting the strong characters of Arawn, Rhiannon and Tyernon with the weak or developing characters of Pwyll, Hafgan and Gwawl it is found that characters in the text tend to play with the emotional supports of the readers or listeners. The characters start in a pattern of either strong or weak but soon gathers sympathy or incomprehension from the readers or listeners as the case may be. This is a peculiar mode of character build up but it should be mentioned that it appears to be very successful its followers.
Chaucer 1
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 to1400) is regarded as the father of English Literature. Apart form being a poet and author he was a diplomat, bureaucrat in the court of Richard II and philosopher. His greatest work is the Canterbury Tales is regarded as a work that stands in sharp contrast with its contemporary forms of fiction in terms narrative naturalism, characterization and variety. The General Prologue like reflects his philosophy and religious alignments and it includes pilgrims that is consisted of various different characters like the host, a pardoner, a summoner, a reeve, a manciple, a miller, a parson, a wife of Bath, a doctor of physic, a shipman, a cook, a tapestry weaver, a dyer, a weaver, a carpenter, a haberdasher, a franklin, a sergeant of law, a clerk, a merchant, a friar, a monk, nun's priest, a knight, his son and a prioress.
Thus, it is established and this reflects his ability to depict characters like administrator, supervisor, bureaucrat, valet, messenger, soldier and page in almost true to their nature with potential satire with speech aping techniques. The themes of their tales and covers topics like avarice, treachery and love and in overall sense, they reveal a great deal of the cultural relevance within the formulation of ...Show more


The focal point of this paper is to Contrast the strong characters of Arawn, Rhiannon and Tyernon with the weak or developing characters of Pwyll, Hafgan and Gwawl, son of Clud as they appear in Celtic text Mabinogion. Analysis and evaluation of these two types of characters would reveal the qualities in the Celtic culture that denote a strong character and those that indicate weakness in character.
Author : mcculloughmalco
Medieval Literature essay example
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