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GreeneryEcocritical Readings of Late Medieval English Literature$
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Gillian Rudd

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072482

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072482.001.0001

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Wilds, wastes and wilderness

Wilds, wastes and wilderness

(p.91) 3 Wilds, wastes and wilderness

Gillian Rudd

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the idea of wilderness, which may be even more evocative than that of the forest. It describes the wilderness as being able to create images of vast expanses of untamed and untameable land that is either barren or supports a tangle of plant life. This chapter suggests that the wilderness of the later Middle Ages combines the wilderness and wildness that Neil Evernden carefully distinguished in his discussion of latter-day wild spaces. It also states that medieval wilderness appears to exclude humans and refuses to recognise those aspects by which one usually seeks to differentiate themselves from the rest of the world. Sir Orfeo and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are two of the medieval texts studied in this chapter.

Keywords:   wilderness, Neil Evernden, wild spaces, Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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