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Spirituality and womanhood in the Katherine Group

Linguistic, graphic and lexical analysis concerning the tragic story of three young female martyrs(St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Julian of Nicomedia, St. Margaret of Antioch). The analysis has been done through a comparison of two different versions written around 1230.

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Introduction VI INTRODUCTION Femininity and spirituality are the two key-words in the text that act as leitmotiv of the whole work. Three feminine figures, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Margaret of Anthioch and St. Julian of Nicomedia are the main characters of this study: they share the same intense and passionate spirituality. The aim of this inquiry is to carry out a linguistic analysis of the lives -or passiones- of the three saints, which are included in the Katherine Group, a set of texts among which the most famous are undoubtedly Hali Meidenhad and Sawles Warde The author will try to provide new contributions on a not very well known section, in order to exploit its organisation, content and symbolic richness. This work had great success during the 13 th century: this analysis will reveal the structure’s organisation and, at the same time, the reason of its success. It will be shown that women can become, in a direct or indirect way, source of inspiration and teaching in a period so full of contrast like the Middle Ages. It will be also shown why three young martyrs, who lived many centuries ago, were taken as symbol of courage and incorrupt moral strength. The first chapter is the starting point: it has to be considered a kind of preliminary reading. Here the reader will find brief but significant information concerning the idea of martyrdom, the martyr and its features and particular attention will be reserved on the description of the period contemporary to the young heroine. It will be explained the impact of Christianity on the ancient society and the process that leads a martyr to the title of saint; this will allow the reader to understand the symbolic importance of the three feminine figures. In the second chapter the author will introduce the Katherine Group, the set of texts that include the heroine’s passiones. In this chapter two distinct sections are clearly recognizable: the first one contains all the data concerning dating, style and addresses of the work, while the second introduces the three young girls, with attention on the several sources available, on the cult’s spreading, on the iconographical and celebrative aspects. The third chapter will be considered as the study’s central core. Here the so called metaphonological verbs will be introduced, described and catalogued. They are present in all the three lives and are used to introduce the direct speech. Once the reader has acquired the theoretical instruments, then the attention will be focused on the analysis o such verbs. Two manuscripts versions, called respectively Bodley 34 and Royal 17 A.XXVII, will be examined and compared. The next step consists in a careful appraisal of the lexical and graphic parts, as


Facoltà: Lingue e Letterature Straniere

Traduttore: Roberta Silvia Visconti Contatta »

Composta da 132 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 258 click dal 29/06/2006.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.



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