Unnamed Women in Medieval Welsh Literature

  • Angela Robinson

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts


Unnamed women figure prominently in many of the Medieval Welsh Prose tales, yet these women have yet to be analyzed in depth. This paper will analyze unnamed women in The Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi in regards to a psychoanalytical framework and some historical context. Not all unnamed women will be studied, but I have paid special attention to witches, women of the court, and noble women in need of assistance. The works analyzed include The First, The Third, and The Fourth Branches of The Mabinogi, Culchwch ac Olwen, Chwedl Iarlles y Ffynawn, and Historia Peredur vab Efrawg. I hope that through this analysis these women will be viewed not only as interesting but a vital part of these stories and that they reflect different personalities of women and culture. Indeed, although the Medieval Welsh audience was not very interested in The Mabinogi, perhaps the popularity of these tales today, not only among academics, says more about modern society than it does about the middle ages. Yet even so, these tales were created then and they somehow bind both those days to our own. This paper also brings this interest in unnamed women into a larger body of scholarship on unnamed or overlooked women in other literary sources, bringing Medieval Welsh literature into a larger body of world literature as well.
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorIan Hughes (Supervisor)

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