Power And Sexual Behavior In Mary Stewart's The Hollow Hills

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Power and sexual behavior are intertwined because sexual activity can be a way for one to assert dominance over another person. Stereotypically, it is seen that men feel more powerful during sexual activities when they have the ability to chose when it occurs and women feel more in control by refusing sex. Either way, one is influencing the behavior of another person, also known as power. Mary Stewart expresses this with the relationship of Uther and Ygraine. This is contradicted by the relations between Morgause and Arthur because she uses sexual activities as a way to gain power. Throughout Mary Stewart’s novel, The Hollow Hills, the theme of power and sexual activity is evident through the relations between Uther and Ygraine, as well as …show more content…
Although she is a bastard child of another woman, Morgause is treated as more of a daughter than Arthur was as a son. She grows up building a close relationship with her father and she receives a spot in the King’s inner circle. This is her first taste of power and she craves more. Interested in learning, Morgause spends most of her time learning new subjects and one of which is medicine. This comes in handy when King Uther falls ill after a battle. She cares for him throughout, but she notices that he is slowly fading. All of a sudden, her half-brother, Arthur, comes into the picture and Uther talks of allowing Arthur to be his successor. A secret plan cultivates in her mind to have sexual relations with Arthur so she can stay on the King’s council and exhibit power. Their relationship is unknown to Arthur, so he falls into her seduction and has sex with her. Her plan does not go as planned though; she is pregnant and told to leave the town. Even though it did not work, Morgause still uses sexual activity to gain power. She feels that if she gives herself for Arthur, she can continue to rise in power and play an influential role on the community. Morgause is power hungry and will do anything to stay in or gain that power. Hence, by using the relationships between Uther and Ygraine and that of Morgause and Arthur, Mary Stewart’s The Hollow Hills, expresses

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