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Medieval Romance in British Literature

            Medieval romances seem to usually idealize chivalry, the hero and his love. The setting of medieval romance also tends to be imaginary and derives from mystery and suspense. There also is a concealed or disguised identity in many of the tales written of this time period. Whether written in a story form or a poem form, there is still this adventurous fiction and it is generally centered on a quest or a trial. There is also separation and a reunion. What I found interesting is that generally while the male is the protagonist in the tales, the females were seen as an obstacle to overcome. The homo-sociality bonds were extremely important. Fidelity to ones' king and ones' fellow knights came first above all else. This type of thinking led to the rise of patriarchy, literally meaning "the rule of the father"; a male dominated society. It is for this reason that most of the texts that we have already looked at have painted women in a bad light.
             "Bisclavret," by Marie de France was one such tale. Throughout this tale there is trial of the werewolf, Bisclavret trying to get back to his love. There is this integration when Bisclavret was a knight for the king and there were implications throughout the tale that they were very close. Then there is the disintegration when Bisclavret was stuck in his beast form when his wife stole his clothing and he couldn't transform. No one knew what he was and they were unable to find him. Finally, there is the reintegration stage when he is reintroduced to the king as the beast and they become close once more as man and beast. Then again at the end when Bisclavret gets his clothing back and can transform back to man. Again there is also this idea of the woman being an obstacle because Bisclavret's wife was the cause for the separation and in the end, as the beast, Bisclavret bit off her nose, which the psychologist Freud suggests is the connection to a woman's power.

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