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The Magister Amoris and His Willful Lovers: Cligés and the Chevalier de la Charrete

  • Tracy Adams
Part of the Studies in Arthurian and Courtly Cultures book series (SACC)

Abstract

As icons of Arthurian literature, Chrétien de Troyes’ romances have long been beloved as works of fairy and fantasy. But as recent studies have emphasized, for all their evocation of magic and the Other World, these works are profoundly engaged with contemporary social issues. For example, Brigitte Cazelles’ study of the Conte du Graal suggests that the traditional focus on the relationship between the grail procession and the elevation of earthly to heavenly chivalry has deflected attention from this romance’s preoccupation with violence and vengeance, disguising the real force of the narrative, which, Cazelles writes, “appears to lie in the ideological function of discourse at the hands of the contending factions as they seek to justify their respective claims to pre-eminence.”1 The Conte du Graal, according to Cazelles, is “deromanticizing.”The grail is a mysterious and lovely but empty signifier appropriated by rivals to put a glorious gloss upon the dire situation confronting their chivalric society; the Conte du Graal “provides a trenchant comment on the intoxicating effects of language.”2

Keywords

Sexual Desire Gender Relation Modern Reader Feudal Society Double Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Brigitte Cazelles, The Unholy Grail: a Social Reading of Chrétien de Troyes’s Conte du Graal (Stanford, CA Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 226.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    See D.W. Robertson, “The Idea of Fame in Chrétien’s Cligès,” Studies in Philology 69 (1972): 414–33.Google Scholar
  3. 25.
    James Brundage, “The Treatment of Marriage in the Questiones Londinenses (MS Royal 9.E.VII),” Manuscripta 19 (1975):90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 27.
    Robert W. Hanning, “Courtly Contexts for Urban cultus: Responses to Ovid in Chrétien’s Cligès and Marie’s Guigemar,” Symposium 35 (1981): 40.Google Scholar
  5. 31.
    René Nelli, Le Roman de Flamenca: un art d’aimer occitanien du XIIIe siècle (Beziers: Institut d’estudis occitans, 1989), p. 25.Google Scholar
  6. 32.
    Lionel J. Friedman,“Occulta Cordis,” Romance Philology 11 (1957): 107.Google Scholar
  7. 37.
    See Stephen G. Nichols, “Picture, Image, and Subjectivity in Medieval Culture,” Modern Language Notes 108 (1993): 617–637, especially 628–637.Google Scholar
  8. 38.
    Jean-Claude Schmitt, La Raison des gestes dans l’occident médiéval (Paris: Gallimard, 1990), p. 18.Google Scholar
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    See Norris J. Lacy,“Form and Pattern in Cligés,” Orbis Litterarum 15 (1970): 307–313.Google Scholar
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    Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, “Masoch/Lancelotism,” New Literary History 28 (1997): 231–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 60.
    Kathryn Gravdal, “Chrétien de Troyes, Gratian, and the Medieval Romance of Sexual Violence,” Signs 17 (1992): 564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Tracy Adams 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Adams

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