Love And Chivalry In Yvain, The Knight Of The Lion

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The stories of King Arthur and his knights are well known to represent the courtly love that comprised a great part of medieval literature. One of the greatest champions of the King Arthur stories was Chrétien de Troyes, a French writer who wrote about love and chivalry in stories such as Yvain, Perceval, Lancelot, and others. Through tales of love, generosity, dedication, and chivalry, Chrétien portrays the knights of King Arthur as epitomes of virtue.
In addition to romanticism’s virtuous principles, it is possible to identify many aspects of medieval life and customs in Yvain, The Knight of the Lion. Most importantly, the relationship between the kings and noblemen within the feudal system. The story of Yvain is clearly related to feudalism
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His own son plotted against him with the assistance of one of the king’s vassals in order to become king. The same way, King Arthur is a weak king because he could not control his vassals or make important decisions. Since knights are known for their righteousness, they are expected to respect the power of their king. A knight must ask permission for the right of combat. Yvain knew that if done right, Sir Kay would ask for the right to prove his honor and be the one to avenge Calgrenant’s misfortunes. Yvain had sworn obedience to the king, but instead, fled to battle in order to avenge Calgrenant on his own, without orders from his king. In other words, the system of power was decentralized, considering that King Arthur’s people were not truly obedient to …show more content…
The Lion proved to be Yvain’s vassal and proved complete obedience and devotion to Yvain: “showing his nobility and goodness, he began to make it clear that he surrendered himself to Yvain…and bowed his face toward the earth. And then he knelt again, and his face was wet all over with humble tears” (102 -103). In this case, the Lion is Yvain’s vassal and he is his lord, while Yvain is King Arthur’s vassal and the king his lord. However, the lion was only a vassal to Yvain, not to the king. Another instance of this kind of relationship is when Yvain defeats Lady of Landuc’s husband, he takes the lord’s land, wife, and title. There, he was lord over those lands and its peasants, but he was at King Arthur’s service nonetheless. The story of Yvain shows many aspects of the feudal society, however, with a twist of romance that was not common during that era. Chrétien de Troyes takes readers through a delightful epic journey about love, chivalry, and honor, as well as shows how feudalism was a form of society at the time of the story of King Arthur and the knights of the Round

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