‘Gelert’: The Identification and Reception of a Narrative Adaption

Moncrieffe, Meinir (2018) ‘Gelert’: The Identification and Reception of a Narrative Adaption. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

The tale of ‘The Animal Killed in Haste’ is one that can be traced to the beginning of literary records and is visible in the heritage of many cultures across several continents. The AT178a tale type motif remains true and identifiable in each version and the traceability of the motif continues up to its current recital in many folktale collections. The motif is best known in modern Wales as the tale of ‘Gelert’, the greyhound killed by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. This adaptation is believed to have been composed around the end of the eighteenth century, inspired by several pre-existing tales and legends which were known in the parish. The ‘Gelert’ narrative is set in a village at the foot of Snowdon called Beddgelert. The name translates to ‘the grave of Gelert’, whom or what the elusive Gelert may be remains an etymological mystery. The need to explain the name has led to several onomastic tales. Its claim of historical provenance was debated publicly in print, the vigour to which its historical and literary value was discussed can only attest to its relevance as a narrative composition and affirmation of cultural identity. Circumstances of time, location and personalities allowed for the composition of the ‘Gelert’ version. The continued enjoyment of the tale has ensured its recital as a Welsh tale, despite an Indian origin. As a result of its perpetual consumption the narrative has developed, again adapting to suit a contemporary audience. This paper highlights the unique quality of the Gelert tale as a paragon of folk traditions. Not only can it be said to attest to the validity and relevance of the genre, but it also testifies to the life of a tale serving as a benchmark for future adaptations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gelert, Folk tales Folk traditions
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2021 13:35
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 13:35
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1683

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