Clyde Tilson

Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Aria Dal Molin


Though there is a lot of work on the development of the novel, there has not been sufficient analysis of how it was formed, especially the shift towards the modern protagonist. By analyzing two medieval works, one from the early medieval period and one from the middle of the medieval period, the seeds of this shift can be seen. The works chosen were La chanson de Roland and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as both have knights with fairly similar expectations, and both have been enduring characters in their respective national identities and literatures. Both Roland and Gawain, being Christian knights, need to be powerful, pious, and proud. However, they need to embody these characteristics in different ways, which provides a perfect place to study the aforementioned shift in protagonists.


© 2023, Clyde Tilson