Berta of Hungary: Trickery
According to Webster’s Dictionary, trickery is the use of tricks and stratagem to deceive. It is used mainly for personal gain in which the “trick-er” acquires something of desire from the “trick-ie”. This use of misleading information is common in money schemes and magic shows alike, but it can also be found in the hearts of conniving servants and even that of a desperate princess. Because many characters in Berta of Hungary use treachery and deception to satisfy their desires, Berta’s tale is one of trickery. The most obvious contributor of trickery in Berta of Hungary would have to be Margiste. Being the main antagonist in the story gives Margiste the ability to trick and deceive those around her. This confounds me because her plans are flawed and twisted and she still seems to find a way to make them work. In one instance Margiste replaces Queen Berta with her lowly daughter Aliste. King Pepin, too distracted with his “kingly duties”, does not notice that his wife has been replaced with a servant girl and consummates the marriage with Aliste (Berta 107). How distracted must you be to not realize that the woman beside you, or even beneath you, is not your own? Even after Berta is paraded into his bed chamber the morning after his marriage to her, Pepin still does not recognize her as his real wife, and sentences Berta to death for harming Aliste (Berta 108). I’ve come to the conclusion that either Margiste is a master of trickery, or King Pepin is an idiot. Not only does Margiste trick the whole kingdom of France, but she also tries to fool Berta’s parents, mainly Berta’s mother, Queen Blancheflor. She does not succeed, however, but she gets much further than I had ever imagined. Margiste locks her daughter away from the Queen’s eyes saying, “She was so overjoyed at (the Queen’s) arrival that she fell into a dire illness. Let her sleep until vespers.” Queen Blancheflor is skeptical, but she spends several days waiting to see her...
Cited: Berta of Hungary, Medieval Myths. Ed. Norma Lorre Goodrich. New York: Penguin Books, 1977. 102-125.
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