Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jacob McDonie

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary Schneider

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Mitchell


Morgan le Fay is one of the most recognizable female characters in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur as she persistently creates conflict for King Arthur and his knights. While many scholars have focused on the idea of a subjugated female presence in Malory’s text, this paper addresses the power that Morgan displays and how it suggests underlying masculine anxieties existing in a patriarchy. Three specific components of Morgan’s power are discussed: her ability to reject and manipulate prescribed gender codes, her power of enchantment, and her disruption of homosocial bonds. The strategic combination of these three components allows Morgan to exhibit a unique and independent power that persistently threatens the stability of a highly structured society and interferes with the construction of the male chivalric identity. The multi-dimensionality of her power is addressed as it signals the potential strength held by women in a society that seeks to minimize their worth.


Copyright 2014 Cynthia A. Scott. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American