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The Chansons de Geste in the Age of RomancePolitical Fictions$
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Sarah Kay

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151920.001.0001

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Companions and Brothers

Companions and Brothers

(p.145) 5 Companions and Brothers
The Chansons de Geste in the Age of Romance

Sarah Kay

Oxford University Press

It can be observed that certain horizontal ties such as friendship, brotherhood, and companionship are formed between characters – junior men – who belong to the same age group and share the same status. One of the fundamental impacts of such relationships on the organization of meaning is that the similarities of these individuals are illustrated as something desirable, since such similarities somehow overpower differences and inequalities as they advocate homogeneity. This endeavour to achieve general likeness may be associated with René Girard's notion of ‘mimetic desire’, wherein there exists an urge among individuals to imitate a certain model that thus results in an indefinite mirroring chain. Here, we observe that there would always be a certain desire for one to copy another, therefore sacrificing ‘difference’.

Keywords:   horizontal ties, junior men, companionship, meaning, homogeneity, likeness, mimetic desire, René Girard, difference

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