Sheela-Na-Gig Analysis

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Monsters that resemble familial bodies receive our attention through appearing as a construct of both, the understood and unthinkable, commanding to be seen. This existence demands the participation of the audience to define and categorise what it is to be normal, suggesting that the image of the monster is never fixed; constantly evolving through interpretation. When considering the monstrous within the Middle Ages, this is best represented in the depiction of the Sheela-na-gig that exist today often eroded or decayed due to the excess of human touch. The utmost importance of this source is that it reveals an audience desired contact and domestication of the obscene which may or may not have occurred in the medieval period. When scholars interpret the Sheela-na-gig to be representative of the offensive, analysis is thus partly superficial as it deals with investing their own narrative within an imperfect material. The rhetoric of what a monster can be …show more content…

To reflect this flaw in sight and consumption Eve then had to remove her clothes as a sign of humility, revealing her body as sin. For this reason nearly all of the female monsters within the Middle Ages reflect some deformity of women’s turpitudinem. The Sheela-na-gig (Figure 1), as example, represents the likeness of a female figure but only demands attention to four fragments of the body; the vagina, breasts, mouth and eyes. Importantly these are areas of the body that are also associated with a transgression between life and death in the abject; the vagina menstruates, the breasts lactate, the mouth speaks, swallows and spits, and the eyes reflect something non gendered, tears. The structures of the real therefore begin to ‘meld into one another in a cascade towards the absurd’. This suggests that the Sheela-na-gig is monstrous because it inspires both fascination and

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