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Thread: A Medievalistís Review of Brave

  1. #1
    Djiril's Avatar
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    A Medievalistís Review of Brave

    Interesting blog post about the historical accuracy of "Brave."

    Disneyís newest movie, Brave, features a theme common to (almost required for) a story about a girl in the Middle AgesóPrincess Merida is forced to marry against her will, pawned because she is female by a well-meaning family who fail to acknowledge her dreams. The courageous princess ďconfronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.Ē Meridaís hand will be promised to whomever wins an archery contest. We cheer for her as she tears the bonds of her restrictive clothing, declaring that she will be shooting for her own hand.

    Brave teaches some valuable lessons to little girls: courage, bravery, pursuit of their dreams, and the importance of understanding and communication between mothers and daughters. However, movies like this consistently suggest that girls had little value during the Middle Ages.

    Wikipedia says that Brave is set in 10th-century Scotland, but I see no indication of a date in the movie or on the movie website. The movie itself appears in a misty Scottish past, which makes pinning it to a time period or location difficult. Since the geography is unknown, itís also hard to decide whether a girl in Meridaís position would have felt a stronger influence from French or Gaelic cultures. Since Queen Elinor appears as a queen fit for continental courts of the time (and because Iím not experienced in medieval Gaelic studies), Iíll examine the movie from the position of Anglo-Norman medieval cultural standards. For a detailed analysis of womenís roles during the Middle Ages, see ďMisuse of the Word ĎMedievalí Part 4: Women.Ē Here, Iím going to address some of the individual problems of Brave.
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    Mar 2009
    Very interesting link. Thank you!
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