The Transformation Of Bisclavret By Marie De France

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In Marie de France’s poem “Bisclavret,” a baron named Bisclavret trusts his wife with personal information that he has always kept to himself: he is a werewolf. After much probing, he also tells her that the only way for him to transform back into a human is by putting his clothing back on, which is why he hides them next to the woods and by the path. Rather than being loyal to her husband, the unnamed and horrified wife goes to another knight who has been trying to court her for years and tells him her husband’s secrets and encourages him to steal her husband’s clothes, leaving him a werewolf forever. After being in the form of a werewolf, Bisclavret hides in the forest until he is met by the king during his hunt who takes him into safety …show more content…
This approach eventually helps him turn back into a human thanks to his relations with the king. Initially, Bisclavret hides his werewolf side from his wife in attempts to keep her love. His wife “questioned him repeatedly and coaxed him so persuasively” before he finally gave in and told her about his weekly departures into the woods (69). Being reluctant to tell his wife such a serious secret shows that Bisclavret was embarrassed of that side of him, and held his wife’s opinion of him in high regard. He later shows the same shame when he is around the king. When he first sees his king hunting in the forest, Bisclavret “ran up to [the king] and begged for mercy. He took hold of his stirrup and kissed his foot and his leg” (70). Bisclavret humbles himself before the king and acts in opposite ways than would his vain wife. After discovering the method to change Bisclavret back into a human, the king uses all of his power to find Bisclavret’s clothing. After his clothes are found, Bisclavret will not change into them until he is in “into the bedchamber… [and] [left] there for a while” (72). Only alone will he transform back into a human for he knows that the beastly transformation between werewolf and human is not for others to experience. By acting humbly and remorseful, Bisclavret …show more content…
Upon meeting Bisclavret and seeing his devotion and humility towards him, the king calls his men to “’see the marvelous way this beast humbles itself before [him]! It has the intelligence of a human and is pleading for mercy’” (70). The king is in awe at the beast and how civilized he is and decides to take him under his protection. Despite his appearance, the king rewards Bisclavret for submitting to him and loves him and trusts him. The king’s immediate trust of the werewolf is the complete opposite of the wife’s instant betrayal. When Bisclavret acts out against the knight at the king’s party by running at the knight and biting him, the entire king’s court “remarked that he would not have done it without good reason,” which proves how much they trusted him and how tight their bonds were (71). Even when given a reason to lose their trust in Bisclavret, the court is able to see that these actions are out of character for him. They then attempt at solving what is causing these actions, and do investigating to find out that Bisclavret is simply getting revenge because of how the knight had previously wronged him. The strong trust that holds the bonds between Bisclavret and the king and his court show the preferences of homo-social bonds over those with

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