‘for Gamelyn was yongest he shuld have nought’: (Economic) Violence, Outlawry, and the Pursuit of Justice in The Tale of Gamelyn
Keywords:Gamelyn, Violence, Robin Hood, Outlawry
The inheritance problem at the heart of the late fourteenth-century poem The Tale of Gamelyn sets into motion a series of legal and economic abuses which leave the protagonist dispossessed, outlawed, and vulnerable to physical and psychological harm. This article reads the poem in conjunction with medieval inheritance law as well as contemporary (twenty-first century) studies of domestic abuse to argue that Gamelyn, as a victim of “economic violence,” develops a strategy of resistance dependent upon homosocial relationships in order to correct law and order, restore personal and political justice, and, ultimately, survive abuse.
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