Òran na comhachaig: a study of text and content
Menzies, Patricia Mary
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The thesis studies the source texts of Oran na Comhachaig with regard to both form and content. The sources are considered in relationship to each other as well as to the oral tradition from which they were received. An account is given of the background to the poet's life, including aspects of the contemporary environment alluded to in the poem. The discussion of subject matter and style relates Oran na Comhachaig to other, mostly Gaelic, literature.Chapter 1 provides background information relevant to an appreciation of the poem. Section A of this chapter is concerned with the life and times of the poet, including a review of traditions and legends of Lochaber and some details of the art of hunting. Section B considers the enduring esteem and affection in which the poem has been held, in the continuing Gaelic tradition of the last four centuries.Chapters 2 to 6 present the text as found in the five independent sources of the poem, with annotations, expository versions and English translations for each source.Chapter 7 takes a comparative view of chapters 2-6 and examines factors relating to the divergences between the sources. Verse order is shown to have played a significant part in the development of these divergences. The functions of features such as style and metre are discussed, particularly with regard to the oral transmission of the poem.Chapter 8 discusses the relationship of Oran na Comhachaig to other literature. Notable affinities with earlier works are reviewed as well as some comparable features in later poetry.Indices to place-names and proper names are appended.