In this exploration of the role of childhood in Amis and Amiloun, I trace the competing rhetorical functions of child characters: as agents who actively pledge and adhere to oaths despite all obstacles and as resonant figures who embody Christological suffering. The extreme and seemingly unorthodox influence childhood wields over the drive of the narrative ultimately enables a reading that is at once a romance experience of hero veneration and a spiritual experience of God’s radical mercy. In this essay then, I argue that the reader experiences, on an affective level, a romance discourse that opposes adult and child, stringent, moral legalism and excessive mercy, as inflected through the figural and agential use of childhood.
|Title of host publication||Figural Agency: Reading the Child in Amis and Amiloun|
|State||Published - Jul 17 2019|