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"grete luste to slepe": somatic ethics and the sleep of romance from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to Shakespeare

Leitch, Megan 2015. "grete luste to slepe": somatic ethics and the sleep of romance from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to Shakespeare. Parergon 32 (1) , pp. 103-128. 10.1353/pgn.2015.0006

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Abstract

Representations of sleep in Middle English secular literature have received little critical attention. Literary sleep in Middle English literature, such as the works of the Gawain-poet, Malory, and Chaucer, can be read productively alongside instructions about sleep in courtesy books and dietaries, and in the light of Galenic medical understandings of sleep. Literary sleep, both physical and metaphorical, often operates as an ethical discourse in late medieval secular literature, especially romance. This medieval mode of thought is one that had a certain insular specificity, and that continued to be influential in early modern literature. For Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Richard III, as for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, unconsciousness, whether achieved or attempted, bodies forth an ethical truth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
ISSN: 0313-6221
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 10:18
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72228

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