Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Horsemanship in Romance and Fabliaux

Class

Article

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Christine Cooper-Rompato

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

During the Middle Ages, horses were one of the most common forms of transportation. Different breeds and uses of horses provided insight into the social status of an individual. In medieval literature, horses were frequently referred to by breed, color, and dress. These references represent social class, nobility, and occupation of an individual. In this paper I showcase how understanding the role and commonality of horses during the Middle Ages allows readers to analyze the characterization methods poets and writers used in romance and fabliaux. My method of research brings in literary examples from Marie de France, Geoffrey Chaucer, and various fabliaux. I analyze how the use and treatment of horses, as well as their dress, provides further insight into characterization and how it can masculinize or feminize both men and women. In certain instances, the description of how the horse is treated can depict whether a man is noble and chivalrous or is cowardly and powerless. In contrast, how a woman treats or rides a horse showcases her ability to hold power over a man, which is a theme common in medieval literature. This paper also argues how the inclusion of horses can act as further character development in literature and why, as readers, we should analyze the inclusion of horses with more depth. I argue that through horses, we can understand the power that women are able to control over men and how their role in society was overlooked during the Middle Ages.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-12-2018 1:30 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 2:45 PM

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Apr 12th, 1:30 PM Apr 12th, 2:45 PM

Horsemanship in Romance and Fabliaux

Room 101

During the Middle Ages, horses were one of the most common forms of transportation. Different breeds and uses of horses provided insight into the social status of an individual. In medieval literature, horses were frequently referred to by breed, color, and dress. These references represent social class, nobility, and occupation of an individual. In this paper I showcase how understanding the role and commonality of horses during the Middle Ages allows readers to analyze the characterization methods poets and writers used in romance and fabliaux. My method of research brings in literary examples from Marie de France, Geoffrey Chaucer, and various fabliaux. I analyze how the use and treatment of horses, as well as their dress, provides further insight into characterization and how it can masculinize or feminize both men and women. In certain instances, the description of how the horse is treated can depict whether a man is noble and chivalrous or is cowardly and powerless. In contrast, how a woman treats or rides a horse showcases her ability to hold power over a man, which is a theme common in medieval literature. This paper also argues how the inclusion of horses can act as further character development in literature and why, as readers, we should analyze the inclusion of horses with more depth. I argue that through horses, we can understand the power that women are able to control over men and how their role in society was overlooked during the Middle Ages.