Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature

Committee Chair

Carol Jamison

Committee Member 1

Jane Rago

Committee Member 2

Lindsey Chappell


This paper focuses on the reclaiming of chivalric values by female characters in the Harry Potter series by comparing them to Arthurian characters. Scholars have extensively compared the narrative of the Knights of the Round Table to the global phenomenon of the Harry Potter series, but in this paper I explore, through a feminist lens, a character comparison of the Harry Potter novels and Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. I will show how female characters in modern literature reclaim chivalry. This is important because it exemplifies a shift in the position of women into a more active role. I will examine secondary, frequently neglected characters of the Harry Potter series, such as Hermione, Merope Gaunt (Voldemort’s mother), Ginny Weasley, Severus Snape, and Helena Ravenclaw, and I will show how they parallel Malory’s characters Ettard, Elayne of Ascolot, The Lady of the Lake, Queen Guinevere, and the broad chivalric hero. I argue that the retelling of these characters’ narratives represents a shift in the significance of women in reclaiming and reworking chivalric themes.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material