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Tuesday, March 31 • 1:40pm - 1:55pm
Alegra N. Padron: The Other Men: Male Homosociality and Subverted Love Triangles in Marie de France’s “Milun”

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My research has been focused on exploring the dynamics between male and female relationships in medieval literature, specifically in the context of love triangles composed of a woman and two men. It became evident to me while studying various works that, oftentimes, within the love triangles, the female character was cast aside or otherwise ignored by the male characters in favor of relationships with each other, a contrast to the normative love triangle of two males vying for the favor of a female. I focused on an appearance of this break with the normative love triangle in Marie de France’s “Milun,” one of twelve of her Breton lais written during the Anglo-Norman period. In “Milun,” the love triangle is composed of the titular character Milun, his beloved lady, and other men, an ephemeral grouping that becomes Milun’s own son as the lai progresses. Milun continually forgoes his relationship with his beloved in favor of “other men,” seeking their validation of his honor and worthiness as a knight. Further research into the knightly masculine identity and male homosocial bonds in medieval literature revealed that male-male bonds are given primacy over male-female bonds due to men constantly being in competition with each other for attention, approval, and admiration. This presentation of my research will examine and analyze the subverted courtly love triangle in “Milun” and the perpetual male performance that mandates the superiority of Milun’s relationship with “other men” rather than with his beloved.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 1:40pm - 1:55pm EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room B - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301