Wilds, wastes and wilderness

Gillian Rudd

in Greenery

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780719072482
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701713 | DOI:
Wilds, wastes and wilderness

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This chapter examines the idea of wilderness, which may be even more evocative than that of the forest. It describes the wilderness as being able to create images of vast expanses of untamed and untameable land that is either barren or supports a tangle of plant life. This chapter suggests that the wilderness of the later Middle Ages combines the wilderness and wildness that Neil Evernden carefully distinguished in his discussion of latter-day wild spaces. It also states that medieval wilderness appears to exclude humans and refuses to recognise those aspects by which one usually seeks to differentiate themselves from the rest of the world. Sir Orfeo and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are two of the medieval texts studied in this chapter.

Keywords: wilderness; Neil Evernden; wild spaces; Sir Orfeo; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Chapter.  17901 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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