"Land of War and Blood" : spectacular violence, conflicting medievalisms, and chivalric legacies in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1c18dj036

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  • This thesis examines depictions of medievalism in three central texts: Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. Each of these texts provides an entry point for exploring the ways in which English and American writers have struggled to reconcile themselves with a medieval history that both defines and eludes them. Although Ivanhoe has traditionally been viewed as a classic example of romanticized medievalism, Chapter One highlights its ambivalence toward the medieval England it represents. Chapter Two explores the equally fraught relationship between Connecticut Yankee's Hank Morgan (and, by extension, Mark Twain himself) and the medieval world he finds himself in. Finally, Chapter Three suggests that A Game of Thrones both exists within a long tradition of glorified medieval landscapes and also subverts that tradition by dismantling the concept of a chivalric code. Collectively, these texts suggest both the endurance of medievalism and the complex relationship contemporary audiences have with medieval pasts.
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