Narratives of death and emotional affect in late medieval chronicles

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    Despite their ostensibly unemotive tone, medieval chronicle narratives communicate an intricate range of emotions, particularly fear and hope, associated with death and the posthumous fate of human beings, both as individuals and in relation to the broader narrative of Christian salvation. The numerous records of deaths of individuals narrated in chronicles are intrinsically emotive events, and privileged loci both for the depiction of emotion and for the manipulation of readers' emotional responses to the narrative. The supposedly relentless sequential ordering of chronicles is often varied on these occasions for emotive effect. Following Roland Barthes's suggestive essay 'Tacitus and the Funerary Baroque', and taking the example of the execution of the Archbishop of York, Richard Scrope, in 1405, I argue that the reiteration of death is itself central to the chronicle texts' significance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-98
    JournalParergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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