The Great Queens: Irish Goddesses from the Morrigan to Cathleen ni Houlihan (Irish Literacy Studies Series)

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9780389209287: The Great Queens: Irish Goddesses from the Morrigan to Cathleen ni Houlihan (Irish Literacy Studies Series)

Although men dominated early Irish society, women dominated the supernatural. Goddesses of war, fertility and sovereignty ordered human destiny. Christian monks turned these pagan deities into saints, like St. Brigit, or into mortal queens like Medb of Connacht. The Morrigan, the Great Queen, war goddess, remained a figure of awe, but her pagan functions were glossed over and her role was obscured. Rosalind Clark juxtaposes early Irish texts with Anglo-Irish treatments of the same themes by Lady Gregory, James Stephens, and W. B. Yeats. She shows the fall in status of the pagan goddesses, first under medieval Christianity and then under Anglo-Irish culture, where the once-powerful goddess of the land evolved into a weak, melancholy victim, romanticized, unreal, and lacking sexual powerˇor into a hag, the dispenser of death. The human loss only begins to be restored in Yeat's The Death of Cuchulain. Irish Literary Studies Series No. 34.

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Clark, Rosalind
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN 10: 0389209287 ISBN 13: 9780389209287
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