; (syð)ðan Ingelde
weallað wælniðas, ond him wiflufan
æfter cearwælmum colran weorðað. (2063–6)
(Then on both sides the oaths of men will be broken; then deadly hostility will boil up in Ingeld, and his love for the woman will become cooler after the seething of sorrow.)
love. There are clandestine meetings in Melidor’s chamber, a
higher-ranking suitor who is defeated at a grand tournament, a spying
steward, a helpful maid and numerous battles. In the end Melidor and
her mother convince the earl that he has no choice but to accept
Degrevant. They live long and prosper, and after his wife’s death
Degrevant returns to the Holy Land, to die on crusade.
Although the distinction is far too neat, it is possible to divide our
attention between the plot, with its focus on the actions and motivations of the main characters, and the poem
and literary evidence, in 1991 Kuefler argued that although ‘life was generally harsh, both physically and psychologically … at least some Anglo-Saxon children enjoyed great affection … and were treated in some instances with great love, in particular by their parents’.
Several years later, Sally Crawford's landmark survey, Childhood
England , extended Kuefler's rebuttal of Ariès and other social historians by including visual
outside the covers of manuscripts through
other engagements with textuality, from wall texts and subtleties
The first example of nonreading to consider comes from Troilus
and Criseyde. Pandarus and Troilus have begun to collaborate in
their efforts to persuade Criseyde to acknowledge and respond
to Troilus’s professed love for her, although Criseyde proves
hesitant. Abandoned by her father who has left Troy to join the
Greeks encamped outside its walls, Criseyde lives isolated from
the nominal power structures of the city even as she also
, impulsively violent duke,
Belisant’s father, who tries to kill the offending Amis rather than investigate the steward’s charge of fornication. In the Niarchos–Polyeuct
legend, Polyeuct, ‘joined to Nearchos by boundless love, was prepared,
he said, to subordinate everything to his absolute love for Nearchos –
injury, death, or anything else, to such an extent that he would not
even spare his children for the sake of Nearchos, since he counted
them, too, as less important than his love for the latter’.24 This sentiment – paternal love superseded by the bond of friendship – is
-avian intimacy denigrates not only the slain human body, the fighting and agential body reduced here to morsels of warm meat for the pleasure of birds, but also the intimate human relations that, in the oral culture of the poem, provide the conduit for human knowledge production.
Homosociality and knowledge
In elite homosocial cultures, including both the warrior culture of Beowulf and the monasticism that probably produced the text, love and knowledge are transmitted through the same intimate bonds.
Accordingly, intimacy provides the scene for the perniciously normative way that ‘happiness makes its own horizon’, in that love, which is supposed to make us happy, ‘becomes an intimacy with what the other likes (rather than simply liking what the other likes) and is given on condition that such likes do not take us outside a shared horizon’.
Because happiness orients, as a promise, towards the future, Ahmed even figures intimacy as one crucial avenue for happiness itself: ‘if
tested in the fire, Rainald pays for his faith with his life. The
emir, ‘in a towering rage because he could not make Rainald turn
apostate’, causes all the Christians within his grasp in Antioch to be
stripped naked and bound together in a circle:
He then had chaff, firewood, and hay piled around them, and …
ordered them put to the torch. The Christians, those knights of
Christ, shrieked and screamed so that their voices resounded in
heaven to God for whose love their flesh and bones were cremated.24
In the Siege of Melayne, the appearance of the ‘still’ and ‘colde
Emotional connections to the young hero in Beowulf
as they mutually achieve a costly victory’, even as (in Hill's analysis) their biological kinship remains relatively remote.
It is the only sib - (kin-) compound in the poetic corpus that includes connotations of aristocratic social class (contrast with sib(be)gedriht [kin-band], sib(b)lufan [kin-love], or the redundant compound sibgemagas [kin-relatives]). As such, sibæðelingas unites Wiglaf and Beowulf, even somewhat eliding their differences in age and fame, by emphasizing instead their shared
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
apparently assembled to order in the
1440s, and which includes a range of courtly poems, especially love
complaints and dream visions by Chaucer, Gower and Lydgate.
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Tanner 346, we are told, ‘forms an
Le Bone Florence of Rome
anthology of poetry that “reflects the social and literary refinements of
the ‘lettered chivalry’ of the time”’.7 ‘Modest intellectual accomplishments’ and ‘social and literary refinements’: it is clear which is the
approved group. But, of course, bourgeois romances in