Hair and masculinity in the alliterative Morte Arthure : and, The rhetoric of the Pennsylvania antislavery Quakers, 1688-1780

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth F Urquhart (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Stephen Stallcup

Abstract: "The first essay examines the use of forced hair cutting in the late fourteenth-century alliterative romance poem, Morte Arthure, to show how it is used to develop characters that reflect the tension surrounding the English king Richard II and the tyranny that characterized the final years of his reign. It includes a survey of legislative and social attitudes toward the beard and hair during the Middle Ages and examines the use of hair as a symbol of masculinity in Arthurian romances of the period. The two episodes involving forced tonsure in the Alliterative Morte Arthure are analyzed to show the significance of the beard and its removal in establishing King Arthur as a tyrant. The second essay addresses the sustained appeal on the part of Pennsylvania Quaker abolitionists for more than ninety years, examining the points consistently made by the leading figures in the movement. It also explores the differences between the slaveholding and anti-slavery factions within the Pennsylvania Society of Friends to explain why modern researchers apply term "gradualist" to the abolitionists' call for manumission."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
hair cutting, forced, fourteenth-century, alliterative, romance poem, Morte Arthure, social attitudes
Morte Arthure
Arthurian romances
Masculinity in literature
Society of Friends--Pennsylvania
Quaker abolitionists

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