Englishness In the Middle English Romance Havelok the Dane


MILLI FOLKLOR, ss.91-103, 2019 (AHCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: Konu: 124
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Dergi Adı: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.91-103


Englishness seems the least probable identity after the Norman Conquest because there is no sense of a common language or even of a shared culture between the conquerors and the conquered. From 1066 onwards England is a trilingual kingdom: Latin is the language of the Church, as it has been before the Conquest, but the court and a significant portion of the aristocracy now speak French, whereas the majority of England's population is Anglo-Norman speaking. These three languages are officially used when compared to the other languages spoken in the medieval England. Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin Historia Regum Britanniae, Wace's Anglo-Norman Roman de Brut, Gaimar's French Estoire des Engleis and La3amon's Brut describe the historical background of Britain. However, neither of these twelfth century narratives is written in English, nor do they represent the sense of Englishness. Latin, Old French and Anglo-Norman romances are produced for the sake of nobility, and are recited by jongleurs, and later on such romances are translated and adapted into Middle English to appeal to the tastes of English people in the medieval England. Such a nascent medieval English nationalism establishes new values and identities and such values are of significance with the growing sense of national feelings. It is usually accepted that the idea of Englishness is evident in the romances of fourteenth century Auchinleck Manuscript. However, Havelok the Dane represents Englishness a century earlier than the Auchinleck MS suggests. In this respect, the Middle English Havelok the Dane proves to be a particularly fecund ground for the analysis of the nature of medieval Englishness. The aim of this paper is to explore what Englishness means, and to examine how the national values are shaped and amended and how the hero of Havelok the Dane puts Englishness into practice.