Woman as Mediator in the Meddle English Romances

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The two previousessays by Maureen Fries and Shirley Marchalonis are further elaborated on by Caroline Eckhardt in her analysis of one of the most popular medieval images o f women‐that of mediator. This image of women has a long and complex history and remains with us today, as evidenced in Marina Warner's Alone of All Her Sex. The link between the image of the Virgin Mary as mediatrix and women in medieval romances is a strong one, and, as Eckhardtpoints out, mayprovide us with a reasonable hypothesis of audience taste and response to the romances. If women comprised a goodly proportion of the audience, and it is likely that they did, the image of women presented to them affirmed the life‐nurturing functions in a heightened fashion; at the same timeit maintained the established and accepted relationships between men and women. In the role of intercessor, women might act, but within carefully accepted limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of Popular Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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