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By Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek

ISBN-10: 0826006507

ISBN-13: 9780826006509

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511–12). 32 There were also legal reasons to set these circumstances aside. 34 Even if some of his Norman readers were to feel uncomfortable with the manner in which Uther and Igerna consummate their relationship, Geoffrey’s very positive presentation of this marriage would give them confidence that it is more than acceptable: it is, in fact, a model of royal marriage. The king and queen are partners in love and power rather than spouses out of political necessity. Uther and Igerna live together “pariter [as equals]” and, as if in celebration of their equality, produce both a son and a daughter through their love: “Commanserunt deinde pariter non minimo amore ligati progenueruntque filium et filiam.

Demonstrating women’s importance in another way, Geoffrey provides examples of inheriting the British throne through the matriline. 33–37). 292–93). Geoffrey’s interest in and enhancement of the power of female figures is evident even as he tells the story of a problematic male: Uther. Although Arthurian specialists tend to characterize Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Uther as a lustful, lying, and violent thug, to do so requires ignoring the possibility that Uther and Igerna’s story ref lects what might be called an early courtly context.

More importantly, the product of this sexual union is Arturus, whose greatness suggests that his father’s behavior was not inappropriate. 511–12). 32 There were also legal reasons to set these circumstances aside. 34 Even if some of his Norman readers were to feel uncomfortable with the manner in which Uther and Igerna consummate their relationship, Geoffrey’s very positive presentation of this marriage would give them confidence that it is more than acceptable: it is, in fact, a model of royal marriage.

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An Introduction to Philosophy through Literature by Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek


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