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(Re)Writing Self-killing in the Old English Lives of Saint Margaret

Kemhadjian, Kayla (2020) (Re)Writing Self-killing in the Old English Lives of Saint Margaret. University of Leeds. [Dataset] https://doi.org/10.5518/856

This item is part of the Leeds Doctoral College Showcase: Online Poster Conference 2020 - Prize winning posters collection.

Dataset description

This poster compares five manuscripts – three written in Old English and two in Latin – in order to unravel nuanced perceptions of self-killing in Early Medieval England. All five texts generally follow the same story. When about to executed, Margaret’s executioner, Malchus, sees that she is holy and does not want to kill her. Margaret, set on martyrdom, orders Malchus to kill her. Trembling, Malchus cuts her head off with his sword. Afterward, each manuscript alters the text, which this poster analyses. Sometimes Malchus falls (to his death or ambiguously), sometimes he dies (explicitly or implicitly), and sometimes he kills himself. This poster highlights these readings and emphasizes the rhetorical purpose of each semantic and rhetorical choice. Malchus’ different deaths show us nuanced early medieval perceptions of self-killing - even within the same authorial setting: the church. Thus, this poster highlights the ability of scribes to input their opinions and perceptions of self-killing into early medieval saints' lives. Ultimately, comparing these emendations tells us that the early medieval church had no monolithic perception of self-killing.

Additional information: Leeds Doctoral College Showcase: Online Poster Conference 2020 - Prize winning posters
Keywords: Old English
Subjects: Q000 - Linguistics, classics & related subjects > Q300 - English studies > Q320 - English literature
V000 - Historical & philosophical studies > V100 - History by period > V150 - Medieval history
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures > Institute for Medieval Studies
Date deposited: 03 Aug 2020 15:06
URI: https://archive.researchdata.leeds.ac.uk/id/eprint/723

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