Enchantment, treasures and the otherworld in the Four Branches of the mabinogi.

Winter, Darren (2017) Enchantment, treasures and the otherworld in the Four Branches of the mabinogi. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the distribution and types of enchantments found in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi. The synchronic use of enchantment within the landscape, animal transformation and the use of natural magic is analysed – in particular, the role of natural magic to aid conjuring in Math. Alongside the discussion on enchantment is an analysis of the types and distribution of magical objects which demonstrates the purpose of these items in the Four Branches. This thesis discusses the synchronic themes of objects across the separate tales with reflections of medieval Welsh law; descriptions of magic attributes of objects rather than their appearance and the use of wands in transformative enchantment. The development from earlier, and influence upon later, Welsh literary material is considered alongside possible influences from contemporary medieval Irish materials. There were widespread beliefs in magic during the middle-ages that were recorded in treatise by churchmen such as Isidore of Seville, or the scholarly works of the universities. Textual analysis of these has demonstrated that until the thirteenth century, many elite-writers believed that the origin of magical power was demonic influence. The thirteenth-century texts add a belief that the occult properties of natural objects could influence magical actions. This thesis examines whether these two forms of magical influence are demonstrated in the magical actions described in the Four Branches, or if there are survivals of older, native beliefs of the Otherworld suggested through the poetry of the Cynfeirdd and other medieval Welsh and Irish literary tales.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Enchantment Other world Mabinogion Mabinogi
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2018 12:52
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 13:15
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/920

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