Analysis Summary Of Marie De France's Lanval

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Mariah Hobbs English 295-014 9 February 2018 Unit 1: Analytical Essay Marie De France's Lanval In Marie De France's short narrative poem, Lanval, she illustrates through her characters how love, desire and fidelity go hand and hand. Lanval is described as, "a very noble vassal" (line 3) of King Arthurs court but soon becomes troubled by desire's temptations. Many of Marie De France's lays contain elements of magic and mystery. In this case, she tells the story of a human and a supernatural being becoming lovers and the connection between the two different worlds. Marie uses strong symbolic adjectives throughout the lays to portray the power that desire has on Lanval. We first realize at the beginning of the poem that even though Lanval …show more content…

In medieval literature female desire can be expressed through clothes and Marie De France uses this imagery to illustrate Lanval's desire towards the women he is approached by throughout the poem. "They were richly dressed, tightly laced, in tunics of dark purple" (lines57-59). The detailed descriptions of the women's clothing symbolize wealth and power, similar to what Lanval truly desires. The knight is escorted up to the tent where Marie uses a "golden eagle" to further illustrate the power and wealth of the lady. Marie describes her clothing or lack of clothing: "she had thrown over herself, a precious cloak of white ermine, covered with purple alexandrine, but her whole side was uncovered" (lines101-104). With such beauty and grace the lady confesses her love and desire for him instantly becoming love struck "that burned and set fire to his heart" (line 119). "If it pleased you, if you such joy might be mine that you would love me, there is nothing you might command, within my power, that I would not do, whether foolish or wise. I shall obey your command; for you, I shall abandon everyone. I want never to leave you. That is what I most desire" (lines 121-130). Little does Lanval know that his desires will be challenged by her demands of

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