The Controversial Heart
In “The Lais of Marie de France: Les Deus Amanz” Marie de France uses affections of the heart and mind to contradict one another. Two of the main characters each have fatal flaws that become the cause of their demise. The king and the noble young man acted selfishly by following their hearts instead of their heads, causing problems that could have been prevented. It is seen that using your mind would benefit more than going by the feelings in your heart.
The king is seen as very selfish in this lay. He has used his daughter as, “a comfort,” since his wife died. Besides the fact that he was incestuous, he was only thinking of his own pleasure and happiness. Did he ever stop to think of the emotional toil his actions had on his daughter? Furthering his selfish motives, he wanted, “to prevent anyone seeking his daughter’s hand.” The king wanted his daughter all to himself and would go to extreme lengths to keep it that way. Even if having the love of his daughter would bring happiness to someone else, he didn’t’ seem to care. He ultimately uses his heart, though ice cold, to assure that he kept what he thought was his. Never did he use logic to justify his own ways. The noble young man is perhaps the most selfish. Not only is his selfishness a flaw, but he also is deceptive and stubborn. At one point, he begs the king’s daughter, “to elope with him, for he could no longer bear the pain.” The young man knows that the king would be deeply distressed by this and his daughter would be regretful, but he only thought of himself and of the pain he was suffering. Eloping was the easy way out for him, yet would be the cause of agony for others. This questions if he even truly loved the king’s daughter because he was not willing to go the arduous length to make her his. He was not selfless and Marie writes, “Love was a great affliction to him.” His love might truly be lust if it is such a burden. When the solution of the potion...
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