ENGB31 Lecture Notes - Mark Of Cornwall, Gingalain

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
English
Course
ENGB31
Professor
ENGB31 Lecture 4
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
Before the 12th 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
the right thing it is not enough that he is loyal to Mark
The primary context for Tristan’s behaviour is political
He is not above lying when he needs to he spins a story to Iseult when she
is curing him in order to avoid problems
How do you read Iseult’s part in this story? What does it mean that Tristan
has won her for King Mark?
She seems like a political bargaining chip, someone who is passed around; an
object, a piece of property
Marriage has nothing to do with an individuals desire; more to do with
politics
We can see a somewhat empowerment of women
Even thought she is empowered she is the biggest problem after she is
introduced this empowerment is negative.
Doubleness is important in this story love/death, cure/poison
“The Traffic in Women”: anthropological idea that marriage has nothing to
with desire and is used as an exchangeable perhaps symbolic
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Document Summary

Before the 12th century love is not celebrated in literature lust is. Courtley love is responsible for the modern way of seeing the world. 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. 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 the right thing it is not enough that he is loyal to mark. The primary context for tristan"s behaviour is political.

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