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De l'animal à la divinité : le dragon dans la littérature médiévale anglaise, entre réappropriation mythologique et création d'une nouvelle figure mythique

Abstract : This doctoral dissertation examines the dragon figure in English medieval literature. This analysis is both a literary and an intertextual and intercultural comparatist one since we try to discover if the medieval dragon is only a rewriting of the Western dragon myths (Greco-roman, Celtic and Germanic), as well as the Judeo-Christian tradition, or if it is a genuine creation. The research paradigm is thus mainly literary, based on a corpus of thirteen medieval texts which present one or several dragons, and on fundamental mythological and biblical texts. In our research, we try to find out if the medieval dragon is a new mythical figure, specific of the Middle Ages. After a theoretical reflection on the word “myth”, we analyze the first Near Eastern dragon myths, to emphasize on the major narrative and symbolic patterns. Then we examine the dragon in the Greco-roman, Celtic and Germanic mythologies, and in the Bible, supported by text analysis. After the presentation of the medieval corpus, we consider the dragon in English medieval literature, both comparing it to mythological dragons, and following two main lines: the dragon as an animal, and as a divinity. Progressing on this continuum from animal to divinity, and while studying the relations between the medieval dragon and its narrative environment, we will try to apprehend how much in the medieval dragon is from a mythical heritage and how much is literary creation, in order to discover if the dragon in English medieval literature is a new medieval mythical figure.
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Lucie Herbreteau. De l'animal à la divinité : le dragon dans la littérature médiévale anglaise, entre réappropriation mythologique et création d'une nouvelle figure mythique. Littératures. Université d'Angers, 2014. Français. ⟨tel-02022861⟩

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