Essay on Love, Nightingales, By Marie De France

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Love & Nightingales in the Lais

In the Laustic by Marie de France we hear a story about an affair, between two neighbors. The fable tells us about the love between a married women and the knight that lives next door. In the story they mention a nightingale, a song bird, which is used as a metaphor to represent their love for one another. The affair is short-lived, and can be interpreted in a few different ways. When reading the fable, you can see it either as a sad tragic ending to a meaningful love, or the end of a secret affair and lust between a married women and the knight from next door. A nightingale is song bird, where the male sings mostly at night. (Dictionary.com) In the Laustic the wife uses the bird’s beautiful songs as an excuse to why she is at the window night after night. Due to being married, she and the man she loved could not be together, so from the window they would gaze at each other, ‘Each took pleasure in the other’s sight since they could have nothing more’ (France pg.1047 l.76-77) . Their love was not so much the physical kind, instead it was a love from afar. They never knew each other’s touch or learned about the others hopes and dreams. But it was still a form of love, built solely in the night, and in secret. The nightingale is a bird that only sings at night, which is part of the reason it represents these two people so well. Their romance was in the night, and like the nightingale’s song was hidden during the day. When the nightingale…

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