Date of Award

7-31-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Mary Ramsey - Chair

Second Advisor

Murray Brown

Third Advisor

Scott Lightsey

Abstract

Beowulf presents a literary starting point in the discussion of peace weaving, reflecting the primary focus of Anglo Saxon epic poetry on the male hero rather than the peace weaver. Scholarship on peace weaving figures in the poem tend to negatively perceive the lack of female presence, and determine the tradition as one set up for failure. Adding historical peace weavers like Queen Emma to the discourse encourages scholars to view smaller successes, like temporary peace, as building on each other to ultimately cause the peace weaver to be successful at her task. From studying the life of Queen Emma, the continuous struggle of such a figure to be an influential presence in her nation is more evident. Combining the images of peace weaving set down by literature and then history prove that figures participating in the tradition are as vital to the heroic world as the warrior himself.

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