Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Lee Morrissey

Committee Member

Kendra Slayton

Committee Member

Elizabeth Rivlin


This thesis examines the role of the Irish hero Cú Chulainn as a guardian of both supernatural and human borders in the popular medieval Irish saga, the Táin Bó Cuailnge. As a descendent of both the human inhabitants of Ireland and the supernatural síd, Cú Chulainn is uniquely situated to negotiate the border between the two worlds these peoples inhabit. The ambiguous distinction between these two worlds is reflected by the river borders that divide Ireland into its shifting land holdings and kingdoms. The ambiguity at the heart of this saga has given it enormous potential for adaptation through the years, which has contributed to its lasting prominence despite the lack of narrative clarity in the extant manuscripts.



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