Edel, Doris






Bibliography

Edel, Doris, Inside the Táin: exploring Cú Chulainn, Fergus, Ailill, and Medb, Berlin: curach bhán, 2015.

  • Book/Monograph
Citation details
Contributor(s)
Work
Inside the Táin: exploring Cú Chulainn, Fergus, Ailill, and Medb
Place
Berlin
Publisher
curach bhán
Year
2015
Number of pages
xii + 372
ISBN
ISBN 978-3-942002-20-2
Description
Abstract (cited)
This is the first literary-critical study of the Táin Bó Cúailnge in its entirety, and as an autonomous literary work. The key to a more deeply probing understanding of the semiliterate epic is the study of its characters: what they do and why they do it – why more important than what. Why reveals the differences between the various versions. Most promising is the multilayered Recension I, mainly preserved in Lebor na hUidre, which testifies of the keen interest of its compilers in the portrayal of the characters, while the version in the Book of Leinster, with its tendency to omit what might lessen the heroes’ prestige, pays for its greater unity with loss of depth. The multifacetedness of the characters in the early version, combined with the deceptive simplicity of the plot, lends the work a remarkable pragmatism. Despite occasional baroque descriptions of battle frenzy, the main heroes Cú Chulainn and Fergus embody a heroism reined in by prudence. All through the war they do everything in their power to limit the use of force. Ailill and Medb represent a new type of ruler-entrepreneur, who seeks to realize his aim at the lowest possible cost and accepts failure matter-of-factly. So the epic has no fatal end-point. The greater part of the two armies are able return to their countries. The theme of mutual destruction is relegated to the Battle of the Bulls. The lasting antagonism between the North and the remainder of the island must have endowed the Táin with contemporary significance at various points in time, as the allusions to (near-)contemporary events suggest.
(source: publisher)
Subjects and topics
Sources
History, society and culture
Agents
Ailill mac MátaAilill mac Máta (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – king of Connacht, husband of Medb of Connacht
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Cú ChulainnCú Chulainn – Young Ulster hero and chief character of Táin bó Cuailnge and other tales of the Ulster Cycle; son of Súaltam or Lug and Deichtire (sister to Conchobor); husband of Emer (ingen Forgaill)
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Fergus mac RóichFergus mac Róich (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior in tales of the Ulster Cycle; former king of Ulster in exile in Connacht; Medb’s lover
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Medb ChrúachnaMedb Crúachna / Medb of Crúachan / Medb of Connacht (ass. time-frame: Subject:Ulster Cycle) – Queen of the Connachta, co-ruler with her husband Ailill mac Máta, in the Ulster Cycle. She is said to have a daughter, Findabair, and seven sons known as the seven Maines. Her lover is Fergus mac Róich.
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Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen