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TRISTAN HEIBEL

I am investigating the social perception of power afforded to married 12th-century aristocratic women that is presented in two Arthurian romances by Chrétien de Troyes. Working with Dr. Gail Orgelfinger, I’m analyzing two women, Enide from Erec et Enide and Laudine in The Knight with the Lion (Yvain). Through a further understanding of the power afforded to married aristocratic women in the 12th century alongside literary theories regarding the nature of courtly love in Arthurian romance, I will present an expanded understanding of the representation of these two women Chrétien depicts. Using historical sources on specific women as well, I hope to relate how the two women in these romances would have been perceived by an aristocratic audience in the French 12th-century court. This project will be funded in part by a UMBC Undergraduate Research Award.