ENGB31 Lecture 4
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
Before the 12 century love is not celebrated in literature – lust is
Courtley love is responsible for the modern way of seeing the world
What makes Tristan a good and proper romance hero?
He’s noble, Kings son, born into the right class as King Marks nephew and is a
good example of the fair unknown, does all these amazing things and turns
out to be a nobleman. He is famous for archery and an exquisite harp player.
He is good at killing dragons
Adding in the fact that he can play the harp portrays a sensitive side in
addition to being brave
He is a cultural leader and a civilizing force
He is not just killing the dragon for any reason but for the King; in essence he
is proving his loyalty towards King Mark
In the beginning of the story there is an emphasis on Tristan always doing