Marie de France, supposed author of the series of Lais, recounts her stories through short texts, which are centered on women and their place in the 12th century. There are several supernatural elements throughout her work, which are mainly and explicitly present in ‘Guigemar’ and ‘Yonec’. This can be defined as ‘events or things that cannot be explained by nature or science and that are assumed to come from beyond or to originate from otherworldly forces.’ It is not however the only narrative device she has used in her written pieces. It is with the combination of the supernatural with the self-propelled ship or the transformation of the hawk into a knight, and the natural, the symoblisation of the stick and the rossignol, that Marie de France explores human relations between her characters.
Throughout the Lais of Marie de France there are several themes presented as central to the various stories. Some of these themes are present in all of the lais. One such example is that of courtly love and it's implications. Courtly love being one of the more prominent themes in all of medieval literature, it is fittingly manifested in all of the lais as well. Another theme present in two of the lais is isolation. The theme of isolation plays a large role in the stories of Guigemar and Lanval. In each of these lais we see isolation as a factor in determining the fates of the central figures. Within each lai isolation is represented on several different occasions, each time having a direct impact on the outcome. These instances of
Enlightenment in France in the 18th century took on many different meanings, and Francoise De Graffigny’s view–told to us through her novel Letters from a Peruvian Woman– portrays the Enlightenment as an expression of skepticism of religion, individualism, and virtue. In this novel, Zilia is a Virgin of the Sun from the Incan culture in the 1700s. She is torn from her home by the Spanish, and finds herself in France (De Graffigny 92). While living with a French pirate, Déterville, his mother, and his sister Céline, Zilia is intrigued to learn about the foreign European culture to hopefully one day share with the Peruvian Empire she calls home. Throughout her journey on the ocean and in France, she faithfully documents everything she experiences in letters to her dearest love–and fiancé–Aza. De Graffigny captures this fictional story in a series of letters to critique France without naming names, and with the use of analogies to disguise the story as real. Passed off as translation of a series of letters, De Graffigny uses this story to pioneer the novel form. Impressively fluent in irony, (GIVE EX). She is also able to write this story while giving more insight to the readers than the characters do. By doing this, the reader is able to read in between the lines and appreciate the irony behind the words. Her direct criticism of France was a dangerous act in an authoritarian society such as France at the time.
In Marie De France’s poem “Lanval”, the knight Lanval faces immense cultural pressure to get married and have a male heir, as it is the norm in King Arthur’s kingdom. It may appear that “Lanval” is supporting the concept of the institution of marriage, as the story had a heavy focus on marriage, and the court nearly punished Lanval for rejecting Guinevere. On the surface, the poem could easily mislead the reader to believe this is the case, but without further analysis, the reader may miss the courting that the mystery-lady has provided Lanval, which prove why the text critiques the establishment of marriage, as her courting is very much of the inverse of a typical heterosexual relationship in the culture. This misunderstanding can be
Although the Lais of Marie de France may seem to be ordinary tales of knights and chivalry, each explores the complicated issues surrounding love, loyalty, and gender. Marie uses four stories in particular to make statements on the relationships between men and women of that time.
The tales of Marie de France, shed light on the romantic relationships and chivalry of this time period. This is very insightful for modern people to be able to read and understand the culture of that time. Knighthood and chivalry were respected by some, but many times they were disregarded for passion. Love and marriage are largely connected to physical attractiveness of the person and the passion involved. Marriage is not a very serious commitment and will be disregarded whenever another presents themselves as a more attractive lover. Religion is not huge in the stories but can be present when looking for a lover. Magic plays a part in the Yonec and Bisclavret stories, but is not largely present throughout.
Furthermore, what would love be if one could not gather any satisfaction from this event? In The Lais of Marie de France the happiness of love is a very significant factor, it is the determination that drives the passionate relationships that flourish within the lais. In the story of “Laustic”, the lovers are never in physical acquaintance but seem to gaze at each other every night
Marie de France lived in a time when social graces were paramount to a good reputation, lordships and to securing good marriages. A woman was considered less valuable if she lost her virginity; a wife was subjected to her feudal lord, father, brother or son after her husband’s death. According to Angela Sandison’s article “The Role of Women in the Middle Ages”, this was because in the Middle Ages the Church and the aristocracy controlled public opinion and the legal system. These authorities of the times believed a woman’s place was in a submissive role to a man. In The Lay of the Nightingale, we will see how this social and religious hierarchy will impact the behaviors of the three people involved.
Love is perhaps one of the most contested issues in the world. No one has a precise definition of what love really should look or feel like. Most people have resorted to use their own experiences in love to effectively derive its true meaning. Through these experiences, philosophers have argued that the definition of love varies greatly depending on whether it was given by a man or a woman. This is however not the case. As proven by the narratives of Beauvoir and Sartre, the definitions of love derived from the experiences of both men and women are quite similar. Consequentially, Beauvoir’s account of the woman in love sheds important light on Sartre’s conflicting thought about love. By first highlighting the concepts of love as stated by Beauvoir, this text seeks to establish how Beauvoir’s account of love lays a vital foundation for Sartre’s.
It is my intention to compare the book, Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos, to its modern movie version, Cruel Intentions starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. I intend to examine how the original French text was modified in reference to plot, character, morals/values, and themes. I also plan to discuss how these transformations change the meaning of the story and reflect different cultural/historical contexts. There are some major differences between these two works, if only because of when they were written.
She witnesses firsthand all of the hardships the French commoners are enduring and it fuels her rage and anger toward the nobility. Madame Defarge channels all of this anger into exacting her revenge, but we cannot help pitying her for her wretched childhood. We comprehend the reasons behind the madness, but that does not justify her actions.
While the theme of love itself, may it be positive or negative, is reoccurring, Marie’s presentation of romantic relationships and their differing qualities can be considered a theme alone. In “Guigemar”, the relationship between the knight and his lady represents loyalty, and an ability to heal or cure. Yet, the relationship between the beast and his wife in “Bisclavret” demonstrates the selfish and traitorous behavior that can occur between partners, especially if one has proved to be adulterous.
None of this deters Marie, for she is strong and satisfied with where she is in her relatiioinship even though she gets nothing emotionally from Meursault. Marie learns just how to be with Meursault, she builds herself up and one day decides that she will not allow Meursault’s little emotional displays stop her from spending the rest of her life with him. Another thing that makes Marie stick out, is that she was the one who ‘proposed’ to him. Sure, there was never any formal proposal, no dropping to one knee or hiding the ring in some angle foodcake, but she was the first to even remotely mention marriage in the relationship. Set in the early 1940’s, the time proves that the woman was still the less superior in any relationship. Never was it socially acceptable to be this forward in a relationship, never could the woman bring up
During the Middle Ages, Courtly love was a code which prescribed the conduct between a lady and her lover (Britannica). The relationship of courtly love was very much like the feudal relationship between a knight and his liege. The lover serves his beloved, in the manner a servant would. He owes his devotion and allegiance to her, and she inspires him to perform noble acts of valor (Schwartz). Capellanus writes, in The Art of Courtly Love, “A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved”. The stories of Marie de France and Chrétien de Troyes illustrate the conventions of courtly love.
Monsieur Lantin views life at face value, and is easily influenced by the opinions of others. Madam Latin is regarded as the “pure woman to whom every young man dreams of entrusting his future with,” revealing that he does not have a first impression of her, but has the tendency to rely on others opinions for major life choices (Maupassant, 90). Monsieur’s mind is clouded with an idealistic fantasy of a happy marriage based on one encounter and the tales of others, however, he disregards his feelings and finds