0 17 2013

Vessels of Passage: Reading the Ritual of the Late-Medieval Ship of Fools

Zita Turi


My paper explores the late-medieval image of the ship of fools. The metaphor originates in the fifteenth-century carnivals of Europe and was depicted in Sebastian Brant’s 1494 compilation, Das Narrenschiff. The paper explores the underlying dynamic of the imagery and its origins in carnivalesque rituals as well as how the motif was exploited by Brant, becoming a literary force at the turn of the sixteenth century.

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ISSN 1749-9771