Symbolism In Lais Of Marie De France

Topics: Hunting, Short story, Deer, KILL, Woman, Family / Pages: 7 (1581 words) / Published: Jan 20th, 2016
Amanda Villanueva
Lais of Marie de France World Literature Paper
In Lais of Marie de France, the author, Marie de France, uses symbolism to portray human experience through inhuman things. Lais of Marie de France is a collection of short stories that tell about the different kinds of love and chivalrous knights around the medieval times. Marie uses animals like a werewolf and a swan, objects like an arrow, a ship, and a knot to portray human experiences like selflessness, unconditional love, selfishness, conditional love, and loyalty. In “Guigemar”, Marie uses many symbols like hunting, an arrow to the deer, and a knot to express the unconditional love Guigemar has developed throughout the story. Guigemar was a knight and everyone loved him
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Milun, a knight of South Wales was recognized to be the best in battles. A girl had heard of Milun and confessed her love for Milun and he promised her his love and loyalty. He then sends her a token of his promise, a gold ring. “He gave her the ring and told her that he had done what she asked. The girl was delighted at the love she was being offered” (45). Their love was so deep for each other, she ended up getting pregnant. She was not very fond of this idea. She knew that Milun would be upset. “She told him what had happened she has lost her honor and good mane when she got herself into this situation” (57). She was terrified that she would be “tortured by the sword or sold into slavery” (61). When Milun heard about the situation, he was willing to do whatever she asked of him. He was sent to give the child in Northumbria to her sister. While he went away to deliver the child to her sister, she was set up by her father with a nobleman and she was taken away by her new husband. When he was traveling to Northumbria, he creates a messaging system with a swan, where he hides letters in between the feathers. As they send the swan back and forth to each other, he tells her to starve the swan and send it back so it looks for food on its way back home. This continues for an on-going twenty years. When Marie mentions the swan, it symbolizes this delicate and fragile love that is going on between the girl and Milun. When they starve the swan during the messaging, it represents this suffering love between them, but once it heads back, it flourishes. It portrays that love is not always a happy thing. There will be a time where love faces neglect. Throughout the story, Marie also mentions this idea of “the most direct route” (175). It portrays the idea of love being “the most direct route”. The fact that love knows where to go, there is no right, there is no left, it is a

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