Similarities in the Three Female Aided-tales


  • Ranke de Vries


Ireland, narrative, death, taboo, female


Of the many early Irish saga texts and Táin Bó Cúailnge-episodes designated as aided by title, there are only three aided-tales with a female protagonist: Aided Meidbe, Aided Derbforgaill and Aided Lócha. Similarities in (the structures of) these three texts will be considered and compared to the pattern set out by Melia for the Ulster death-tales mentioned in the Tale Lists (Melia 1977-8). While one must be careful not to read too much into the similarities discussed due to the small number of extant female aided-tales, it is noteworthy that all three texts contain a form of social compulsion or geis, but that the function of the geis in the female aided-tales is antithetical to the Taboo-revenge pattern described by Melia.