Lancelot: Or, the Knight of the Cart
Honor Over Love in Chrétien de Troyes’s “Erec and Enide” and “The Knight of the Cart,” and Through “Sir Torrent of Portingale” College
Throughout the middle ages, “romance” was the genre that dominated the market. However, as time progressed, the genre of romance began to alter, essentially changing into something different altogether. This alteration in genre shifted to what the subject matter of the readers began to prefer. Herein, martial prowess and male-male homosocial relationships began to take precedence over the previously dominant theme of fin amors in courtly relationships. Chrétien de Troyes’s story, “Erec and Enide” observes the tale of the two lovers Erec and Enide, and focuses centrally on the knightly honor of Erec, as opposed to his love for Enide. In addition to “Erec and Enide,” Chrétien de Troyes’s tale “The Knight of the Cart,” is centered around Lancelot (who within the story is an unnamed knight), and his love for Queen Guinevere as he jumps through hoops to try and rescue her. Both Chrétien’s “Erec and Enide” and “The Knight of the Cart” act as cautionary tales for the medieval audience, and they both value a good balance between love and knightly duty. On the other hand, as time progresses and the genre of romance evolves, unknown author of “Sir Torrent of Portingale” showcases the martial prowess of Sir Torrent in killing multiple...
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