The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Irony

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Irony


In his first letter, Abelard’s interest for knowledge and his desire to get i learn more things becomes obvious. Because of this, he became a scholar and didn’t follow the same path his father and brothers had. In an ironic twist, he gives up his quest of knowledge for love. Abelard gives up searching for teachers and instead stays in one place just to be with the woman he loves.

Image of the loved one

Abelard and Heloise decided to go to places where they would be apart from one another hoping that being far from one another will help them forget about the love between them. However, from their letters, it becomes clear that not only did they not forget about their love, the feelings only intensified and the image of the lover became more alive in their mind.


The reason behind Heloise’s decision to not marry Abelard is the desire to be free and to be able to take her own decisions. Heloise hoped that by proposing to remain Abelard’s mistress, she will be free to act as she pleases. Ironically, after the relationship between Abelard and Heloise is discovered, Heloise is sent to a cloister, a place where her she has no other choice but to obey the rules set out for her.

Wrong hands

The first letter written by Abelard was addressed to one of his friends who needed advice. In an ironic twist, the letter was read by Heloise as well and thus the two began to write to one another and ignite an old flame.


After Abelard was attacked, he retired to a monastery where he thought that he will be safe. This proves to be inaccurate because inside the monastery Abelard is harshly criticized by the others monks and he has to leave the place where he thought he will be accepted with open arms.

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