Supernatural Lovers, Liminal Women, and the Female Journey
Many medieval tales feature encounters between human characters and Otherworld beings. In most cases, the Otherworld visitor is female, but in the Middle Irish Cath Maige Tuired, the Middle English Sir Degaré, and in Marie de France's Yonec, a young woman is visited by a supernatural man who seems to have been summoned by her own desires. In each case, the man impregnates her and leaves tokens to pass on to their child. Although these tales also express anxieties over dynastic succession, their depiction of intense emotional moments focalized through a female perspective suggests an interest in women's subjectivity that is highlighted through contact with the Other.