In the rather strange life of Saint Margaret of Antioch in John Lydgate's fifteenth-century (ca. 1426) Middle English version, The Legend of Seynt Margarete, Margaret is swallowed by the Devil in the form of a dragon, but after she performs the sign of the cross, the creature bursts into pieces, freeing her. Although the pervasive Devil/dragon character in medieval texts may seem too reductively metaphoric for serious monster scholars today, it is useful to explore what this particular religious appearance can show us in our study of a significant creature “other,” the dragon—here encompassing patriarchy's ultimate gender other, the woman. I argue that the emblematic maneuver of this text, with its apocryphal detail of the dragon eating Margaret, although ostensibly written to inspire piety, also demonstrates the correspondence of marginalized others: a loquacious Devil/dragon and an articulate woman/saint.

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