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Tristan- Gottfried Von Strassburg book Tristan with the 'Tristran' of Thomas - Essay Example

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Number Date Courtly Love in Tristan of Thomas The theme of love in literature is a recurrent one. It has endured through the ages and includes many different types of romances. In Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg we find an excellent example of courtly love…
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Download file to see previous pages The main points taken up are that it is not between husband and wife, is secret, and hopes to transcend from the physical to an elevated spiritual type of love full of praise and admiration for the beloved. Although Tristan slays the dragon for the hand of Isolde it is not for himself but rather for his uncle, Mark, King of Cromwell. The two depart on the trip to England where Isolde is to wed Mark but mistakenly drink a love potion meant for the intended couple. Suddenly Tristan and Isolde are so enamored with each other they are beside themselves. Isolde’s maid Brangane tells them about the love potion that was made to ensure a happy marriage between Mark and Isolde. Not knowing what to do, the pair is completely devoted to each other. While Mark is at first unknowing, rumor at court arises and he tests Isolde. The two hatch a plan to counteract it. At the time of the trial where Isolde is to swear under oath and taking in her hand a searing hot rod of iron to determine if she is telling the truth. Tristan and Isolde stage an accident and a disguised Tristan falls into her arms. She then cleverly swears, “That no man in the world had carnal knowledge of me or lay in my arms or beside me but you, always excepting the poor pilgrim whom, with your own eyes, you saw lying in my arms” (Tristan 247). ...
The two go on for some time until the King’s counselors apprise him of the situation. He is at first reluctant to believe them but they persist. Tristan and Isolde share only stolen moments when their absence will not be noticed at court. King Mark however develops suspicions and sets a series of traps for them. Mark first tells Isolde of a trip he must take and asks her in whose care would she like to be left in. She answers rather too quickly that she would desire it to be Tristan. The King at once grows suspicious but has no proof. When Isolde tells Brangane of the episode, she admonishes Isolde, recounting the rumors at court and how this must have been a trap that she unwittingly fell into. She warns her to be more careful in the future. Isolde then tells King Mark that she will stay with whomever he so desires and his fears are set aside. Still his counsel persists and he sets other traps for Isolde. Finally the two are discovered together sleeping in a cave. Before Mark has a chance to approach them, they hear his hounds barking in the forest. They then cleverly and apparently innocently lie side by side with Tristan’s sword between them. When Mark comes upon them he sees them like this and reproaches himself for mistrusting the pair. He is once again deceived and the pair goes on in love secretly. Transcendent Love As was the fashion in courtly love, Tristan is full of admiration and praise for Isolde. He recounts to Mark and the rest of the company on his return from Ireland about the fair Isolde, “Isolde,’ said Tristan, ‘is a girl so lovely that all that the world has ever said of beauty is nothing besides hers. Radiant Isolde is a girl of such charm, both in person and in manner, that none was born, nor ever will be, so ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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