Alcuin Blamires

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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This article focuses on the category of individuality in English literature during the medieval period. It examines how far the period's pervasively Christian culture in the West suppressed individuality in favour of personal obedience to the institution of the Church and investigates whether individuality was anathema to the Middle Ages. It discusses Lee Patterson's suggestion that the medieval idea of selfhood emerges from the dialectic between an inward subjectivity and an external world that alienates it from itself and comments on the fourteenth-century English romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Keywords: individuality; English literature; medieval period; Christian culture; Lee Patterson; selfhood; inward subjectivity; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Article.  8485 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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