Loyalty “Cuthwch and Olwen”

Tracee Roe, Abilene Christian University speaker
“Conflicting Loyalty in ‘Cuthwch and Olwen’”

oldest known Welsh tale written

Post-colonial dissonance
Welsh against the Norman control

Women all related to Cuthwch’s
Mother
Aunt
Step-mother
Future bride

State of Wales = state of family
Broken, but attempting to heal

Seen in history of Wales
Tribal houses that vied for power through violent take-overs
Small family houses ruled folks

Ruling powers’ emphasis on family (unity and leadership)
Beginning and ending… Ala Leon Jones
Revealed in the Welsh language: interchangeability of words for prophecy and history

Arthur’s power is reliant on past ruler
Storyteller reaches for a non-existent history where country was united under family.

Arthur’s family is strengthened and kingdom has peace.
Only in destruction of last era that new era can begin and peace is possible.

Welsh community … women unite
“Curse your kingdom unless you help me” = emphasis on women, once sterilized, family and tribal line continuance will end

post-colonial ideas are shown in the family and focused on women
conflicting roles of women: family and marriage, pivotal roles Davies, “Writing”


Appearance given in detail. Wealth of detail.

Inherent contrast between flower/Olwen and the power of water/red
Power and submission co-exist amiably in Olwen.
Duality within colonized people. Conflicting loyalties.
Ability to navigate loyalty and betrayal.

story ends focusing on happiness/strength after marriage
coming from destruction and disaster before marriage

Notes from CCTE 2016: Literature 3: Post-Colonial

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