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Lecture #5.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Natalie Rose

ENGB31 lecture 5  Tristan & Iseult continued  The potion: narrative function and conceptual implications?  The potion gives them agency  The Avowal: dynamics and implications?  The position is “an alibi for passion” (Denis de Rougement, Love in the Western World) – the potion is an alibi for potion  Unlawful love: How does the story deal with adultery?  God is on Tristan and Iseult’s side – scene under the pine trees – the reason why they keep escaping is because God knows that they are in love; “Men see this and that outward thing, but God alone the heart, and in the heart alone is crime and the sole final judge is God. Therefore did He law down the law that a man accused might uphold his cause by battle, and God himself fights for the innocent in such a combat”.  The best knight will always win because God is on their side  God being on their side adds to the magic of their story and causes us to disregard the whole morality clause that they breach  The personal love vs. social love -> what matters is the inside and the private and the personal  This society focuses on the social so the implication of God working in a purely personal way is very interesting  God is also working in a technical way – Iseult makes Tristan wear a pilgrims outfit and hugs him and says that it is okay because a pilgrim holds her – God is in the technicalities/details  “Lie that I loved her unlawfully”  “He loved her loyally”  “Whether his love were disloyalty”  The whole lawful aspect is turned into loyalty  his loyalty towards Mark  “I am ready, my Lord to sustain in arms against all corners that never has the Queen for me, not I for her a love dishonorable to you”  In this society they believe that the truth will manifest and will be visible  ‘The sword here between them…if they loved each other with mad love, would they lie here so purely?” – What does this imply?  The replacing of ones sword with another implies ownership – Mark replaces his sword with Tristan’s  These swords become symbolic  Symbol of chivalry  There is something anti-social about this passionate love  The signs and the vision are misleading – in this story the sword is not a sign of chastity, they have not been sleeping together chastely in fact they have been sleeping together with passion  By the end of the story King Mark memorializes Tristan and Iseult – T & I converts him over to the idea of love  Why don’t they run off together?  After they ran off the first time and there was an interlude with the sword he send her back  The moment that compassion is shown, Tristan goes back to the homo-social bond  There was a desire on each of their parts for their old identities  She felt like she was keeping him away from being a knight and he felt like he was keeping her from all the glories  If you love somethi
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