Faculty Research at Morehead State University

The Gendered Journey: Feminizing the Quest Motif in Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain or Le chevalier au lion

Karen J. Taylor


The quest motif in Old French literature has typically been dominated by the male ethos of chivalry, and appears frequently in the highly masculist genre of the epic. However, the important recent discovery of the text Le roman de Silence, in which the knight-hero turns out to be a woman in disguise, along with the rising popularity of both feminist and postmodern criticism in the field of medieval studies, have enabled scholars to consider such previously fixed motifs in a different light.