Abstract

Abstract:

Despite its popularity among Early Middle English scholars and scholars of medieval debate literature, The Owl and the Nightingale is relatively inconspicuous in scholarship on medieval race and sexuality. When read alongside later medieval flytings, poetic exchanges of slander focused on the body and its proclivities, the injurious speech in The Owl and the Nightingale operates through racialized and sexualized species division. This article draws on animacy theory and medieval race theory to explore the symbol of the owl-as-Jew in the poem and demonstrates how sexual and racial insult against human beings is filtered through the bodies of animals.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2516-9092
Print ISSN
2516-9084
Pages
pp. 1-31
Launched on MUSE
2020-06-21
Open Access
No
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