Erec and Enide

Importance

Chrétien de Troyes played a primary role in the formation of Arthurian romance and is influential up until the latest romances. Erec et Enide features many of the common elements of Arthurian romance, such as Arthurian characters, the knightly quest, and women or love as a catalyst to action. While it is not the first story to use conventions of the Arthurian characters and setting, Chrétien de Troyes is credited with the invention of the Arthurian romance genre by establishing expectation with his contemporary audience based on its prior knowledge of the subjects.

Popular in its own day, the poem was translated into several other languages, notably German in Hartmann von Aue's Erec and Welsh in Geraint and Enid, one of the Three Welsh Romances included in the Mabinogion. Many authors explicitly acknowledge their debt to Chrétien, while others, such as the author of Hunbaut, betray their influence by suspiciously emphatic assurance that they are not plagiarizing. However, these tales are not always precisely true to Chrétien's original poem, such as in Geraint and Enid, in which Geraint (unlike Erec) suspects Enid of infidelity.[3]


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