Anatomy Of The Heart Analysis

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The Anatomy of the Heart In Chrétien de Troyes’ Cligès, lovers can effectively communicate with their eyes. While “the eye is the heart’s window” (708-709), unlike the eye the heart appears as less a physical organ than a mental entity that is capable of commanding one’s action. However, when Alexander falls in love with Sordamour, he bemoans that this unrequited love brings him the pain that goes to his heart, although he cannot see any wounds (687, 697-698). Since the heart is susceptible to pain, it is also corporeal despite its mental power. Such intangible wounds, therefore, suggest that in Cligès the heart is, on the one hand, a physical organ, and on the other hand, the source of desires. This duality is an enigmatic and incoherent one, since the speaker portrays the heart not as an indigenous and intractable part, but as a transplanted and intractable one. Since it is the …show more content…
Yet, there is one explicit objection. The speaker who frequently intrudes into the text is, to some extent, also a character with distinct personality. The speaker anxiously defends the uncompromisable inseparability of the heart, and sternly states that although “two hearts / can share a single desire” (2822-2823), “a single body can’t have / two hearts” (2827-2828). Fenice does not say that Cligès can take her heart. Yet, she thinks his heart can take hers (4477-4478), as if she and Cligès are merely two actors playing the script written by their hearts lurking aloofly behind the stage. While their hearts can direct their actions, Fenice and Cligès cannot penetrate the backdrop to their hearts’ domain. It seems that although Fenice’s heart cannot be taken by Cligès, her heart can be given. However, the speaker rules out the latter possibility as well, as he observes that “no one can give his heart”

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