Ju Ok Yoon, What Matabryne the Queen Mother Wants in Chevalere Assigne   page(s): 25-41 (16 pages)


One peculiar aspect of the fourteen century English romance Chevalere Assigne is that Matabryne the queen mother is represented as the sole and formidable antagonist of all the characters in the text. When her daughter-in-law gives birth to seven children, the queen mother replaces her newborn grandchildren with seven whelps and plots to drown them. She makes the king imprison the apparently sinful queen for over a decade and then instigates him to burn her at the stake. Later when the Swan Knight (Chevalere Assigne), one of the seven grandchildren whose lives have been miraculously spared, appears to save his mother from being burnt in a field, the queen mother attacks the young knight in person, and then strives to kill him in the combat that she had set up. Scholarship of Chevalere Assigne has repeatedly pointed out that the queen mother is the principal villain, simply attributing her aggression wielded against others to her fallen nature. In this essay, I would argue that, read in the specific context of later medieval royal household, the romance’s delineations of the old queen mother may be imbued with contemporary socio-cultural assumptions and anxieties over the strong old royal mother, one of which may be that her agency and influence can become powerful enough to mislead and override the male sovereign authority and to interrupt the succession of the royal lineage. With this intention in mind, I want to focus my discussion of Chevalere Assigne on what Matabryne the queen mother may want. 
 저자 키워드  Key words
 Chevalere Assigne, Matabryne, queen mother, Swan Knight