Debate in medieval English and middle-Scots poetry

Dunn, Charlotte Eloise (2017) Debate in medieval English and middle-Scots poetry. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis aims to examine forms of debate literature in the medieval and Early Modern periods. In doing so, I aim to determine how these forms functioned within the societies which produced them. From the many surviving examples of debate poetry written in Middle English, it is clear that the genre enjoyed a period of widespread popularity in the Middle Ages. In order to understand how the form medieval debate poetry related to its audiences, the origins of the genre must first be examined. The first chapter of this study will consider the origins of debate poetry in the teaching of scholastic disputation in early European universities. The foundation of the universities and their teaching of disputation appear to have had a major influence on the number of debate poems being produced during the period. In this section I will discuss the texts used in the teaching of debate, and how teaching was administered. In the second chapter, I will consider the points raised in the opening chapter in relation to two specific debate poems; the anonymously written The Owl and the Nightingale and Wynnere and Wastoure. With reference to these two poems, I will discuss the origins and literary traditions that influenced them, in relation to their possible social functions. I will also question the irresolution that the two poems end on, and how this form of the unresolved debate is essential in understanding how they were received among their original audiences. By focussing on these aspects of my chosen poems, I aim to determine how they functioned in relation to the expectations of their original audiences. The final chapter will consider flyting as a distinct, popular form of debate literature. In this chapter, I intend to discuss how different forms of flyting, such as those found in Middle-Scots and Early Modern drama, while are not entirely independent of debate poetry, can be viewed as their own specific style.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: medieval, poetry, middle-scots.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Robertson, Professor Elizabeth
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Miss Charlotte E. Dunn
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-7907
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 14:31
Last Modified: 01 May 2017 08:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7907

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