Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

English (Literature)

Department or School/College

Department of English

Committee Chair

Ashby Kinch

Commitee Members

Elizabeth Hubble, John Hunt


bourgeois, Geoffrey Chaucer, Harry Bailly, heteronormativity, Lybeaus Desconus, masculinity, Middle English, popular romance, queer, sexual identity, Sir Launfal, Tale of Sir Thopas, Thomas Chestre


University of Montana


This thesis examines how the authors, Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Chestre, manipulate the construct of late fourteenth-century normative masculinity by parodying the aristocratic ideology that hegemonically prescribed the proper performance of masculine normativity. Both authors structure their respective tales, The Tale of Sir Thopas and Sir Launfal, in the style of contemporary popular romances; the plot of the tales focusing on the male protagonists’ quest for sexual and social identity. Instead of perpetuating the masculine identity of the hegemony, their romances parody the genre by queering the characteristics of the protagonists and the expectations of their audience.



© Copyright 2014 Cathryn Irene Arno