The Freedom of Womanhood: Oriana’s Eroticism in Amadis of Gaul

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Mercedes García Palma


Amadis of Gaul is a medieval romance written in the early 14th century and edited by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo for its publication two centuries later. Montalvo, apart from emending the first three books, was the author of the fourth one. This neo-Arthurian1 work, as Tierney described it (1999, 1221) very much like many other works of its genre, fed itself upon romantic, classical Roman and Greek stories whose central axis stood on the journey of the hero for spiritual quest2 (Savary 1984, 108). It also became an important source of inspiration for the well-known masterpiece Don Quijote de la Mancha, whose countless references to the hero of Gaul officially confirmed Amadis as the quintessence of chivalry novels in the history of literature.
The focus of this analysis is going to be drawn to some extracts taken from Amadis of Gaul, more specifically, the desperate letter that princess Oriana writes to Amadis, along with special mention to some other extracts in which certain aspects of their relationship will be dissected in this essay. The main purpose of this research is to reveal the underlying meaning to the traditionally conceived role of women in this type of literary genre.

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García Palma, M. (2019). The Freedom of Womanhood: Oriana’s Eroticism in Amadis of Gaul. Humanities Bulletin, 2(2), 168-174. Retrieved from