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The Performativity of the Written Word in Two Anglo-Saxon Wills

Abstract Since scholars first turned their attention to the subject some eighty years ago, one major area of contention in the study of Anglo-Saxon wills has been the function of the written will within Anglo-Saxon culture. Verbal agreements, formalized through oral ceremonies and symbolic actions, were recognized as legally binding; however, many of these agreements were also recorded in writing. Many scholars argue that the written document was superfluous;oral ceremonies were written down only in the case of memory failure and the documents themselves had no real performative function. Others see the existence of the written will to be evidence of a shift toward a more textually-dependent culture, reliant on the written as a way of managing socie... (more)
Created Date 2010
Contributor Castle, Kasandra Marie (Author) / Bjork, Robert (Advisor) / Maring, Heather (Committee member) / Rose, Jonathan (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Subject Literature, Medieval / Anglo-Saxon / Oral / Will
Type Masters Thesis
Extent 63 pages
Language English
Reuse Permissions All Rights Reserved
Note M.A. English 2010
Collaborating Institutions Graduate College / ASU Library
Additional Formats MODS / OAI Dublin Core / RIS

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Description Dissertation/Thesis