Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

First Advisor

Susan M Kim


This thesis examines the eleventh-century collection of Early English hagiography, the Lives of Saints; specifically, four female saints’ lives, those of Saint Agnes, Cecilia, Eugenia and Euphrosyne. Using Judith Butler’s gender performativity theory, I consider how female gender is constructed in these texts by examining gender as manifested in the late antique period when they were first written, and then, in the Early English period when they were copied and translated. This research on gender combines an array of literature, such as Latin theology, Old English laws and penitentials, Latin and Old English hagiography, and contemporary theoretical frameworks. My main argument is not only that modern frameworks of analysis can be applied to medieval literature, but also, that this literary analysis offers an opportunity to explore gender as a performative category and create a space to interrogate the male/female binary for both contemporary readers and medieval subjects


Imported from Trujillo_ilstu_0092N_11735.pdf


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