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Theme of Marriage in The Lais of Marie de France “Bisclavret”

Categories France, Marriage, Theme

Essay, Pages 3 (587 words)



Essay, Pages 3 (587 words)

In the lay Bisclavret by Marie De France she tells the short story of a failing marriage. there’s a baron named Bisclavret who has this uncontrollable curse that makes him turn into a werewolf for 3 nights a week . His wife who was unidentified harasses him into revealing everything and repays him for his honesty with betrayal. Through her antagonizing it is revealed that the transition of bisclavrets physical form is completely dependent upon his clothes being present where he left them.

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Using Bisclarvets honor and respect against him she orchestrates a plan that she hoped would result in him being a werewolf forever. As the story progressed, we the readers always were focused on how Bisclavrets behavior and nobility but the we skim over the true beastly form his wife takes as well as her transformations. She is manipulative, selfish, disloyal, and remorseless.

Marie starts the story off by telling the readers what a werewolf is by definition “[a] werewolf is a ferocious beast which, when possessed by this madness devours men, causes great damage [}”(68).

This is interesting because when you first read this its looked to be a description for Bisclarvet, except he acts nothing like this, his wife on the other hand does. When she confronts him on vanishing for nights at a time she is very strategic she says “[..] I would gladly ask you something, if only I dared; but there is nothing I fear more than your anger.”(68) .What makes her an interesting character is because even she knows she being manipulative on her own but, to what extent is Marie helping her be even more effective.

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As the reader we don’t know at this point that he turns into a werewolf, but her initial tactic relies on the fear of his anger. It is only natural to assume the stress that Bisclavret experienced merely form the idea that his wife would fear him once she knew the beastly form he takes. following this she goes into her next tactic where she has help from Marie agian. In response to the earlier quote he says “[“] [t]here is nothing you can ask which I shall not tell you if I know the answer.”(68). So he has now vowed to her tell her everything but then we the reader get a vow also from Marie “she questioned him repeatedly and coaxed him [“], keeping nothing secret”(69). So bisclavret has no choice but to reveal everything because one, he said he would but then, because Marie has already told us he would. Bisclavret rebuttles when she wants to know where he puts his clothes he says “[t]hat I will not tell you for if I lost them I would [“] I should remain a werewolf forever”(69). This is where we see that she is relentless, he has told her what happens to him and where he goes but that is not enough for her she wants to know one bit that he refuses to tell. Desperatly she goes on a rant and does not stop until he as This is used as a entry point for her manipulative ways she pokes at him until he budges and reveals everything.

It’s the way she does this that shows that she is relentless for what she wants, almost that these questions are coming not because she is a concerned wife, but an intrusive wife. She never once is sympathetic to his curse instead she uses this as an excuse to leave their marriage.

Cite this essay

Theme of Marriage in The Lais of Marie de France “Bisclavret”. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/theme-of-marriage-in-the-lais-of-marie-de-france-bisclavret-essay

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