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Between Medieval MenMale Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature$
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David Clark

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558155.001.0001

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Heroic Desire? Male Relations in Beowulf,The Battle of Maldon, and The Dream of the Rood

Heroic Desire? Male Relations in Beowulf,The Battle of Maldon, and The Dream of the Rood

Chapter:
(p.130) 7 Heroic Desire? Male Relations in Beowulf,The Battle of Maldon, and The Dream of the Rood
Source:
Between Medieval Men
Author(s):

David Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558155.003.0008

Chapter 7 focuses on the construction of homosocial bonds, looking first at heroic male relations in Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon. It argues that the Beowulf‐poet here as in other matters remains ambivalent, but that the Maldon‐poet opposes what he sees as correct homosocial bonds to a cowardice stigmatized by associations with effeminacy and sexual passivity. It then contrasts the radical revaluation of masculinity and heroic passivity in The Dream of the Rood, paving the way for the later chapters' further analyses of vernacular religious texts which re‐envision gender roles and homosocial bonds.

Keywords:   homosocial bonds, heroism, Beowulf, Maldon, Dream of the Rood, effeminacy, cowardice, passivity, masculinity, gender

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