The Ideological Dynamics of the Forest in Ywain and Gawain
Keywords:medieval romance, Arthurian romance, Ywain and Gawain, space, ideological space, forest
This paper analyses the forest of Ywain and Gawain (c.1300) as an ideological space constructed with chivalric ethos by exploring Ywain’s journey of being an exemplary knight due to his adventures and challenges in the forest. Playing a crucial role in Ywain vis-à-vis Ywain’s accomplishments and failures, the forest works for the benefit of Ywain, who is expected to be an ideal knight as the embodiment of chivalric cause. Therefore, the forest not only enhances and boosts Ywain’s knightly skills and virtues but also employs non-knights such as the women, the hermit, and the lion to be put at Ywain’s service. In this regard, this paper argues that the forest in Ywain is designed as a chivalric space in which Ywain is provided with many opportunities and obstacles to (re)establish his chivalric reputation and to prove himself as a praiseworthy knight.
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