Lais of Marie De France

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The lais of Marie de France are twelve Breton tales composed in the Anglo-Norman language in the late 12th century. They tell the stories of a noblewoman and her daughter, and were probably written between 1155 and 1170. In this article, we will explore the authorship, setting, and names of the lais. Ultimately, we will explore the significance of each theme in the novel.


In Marie's lais, love and the consequences of it are the main themes. The stories depict different situations such as lovers' affairs, father and child relationships, and the love between lord and vassal. The themes of courtly love and relationships are reflected in the characters' actions. The lais are written in rhyming couplets of eight syllables.


The lais of Marie de France are poems written by a French poet, possibly born in the country. While her precise birth place is unknown, she spent the late 12th century living in England at an unknown court. King Henry II was almost certainly familiar with her works. Several manuscripts of her lais have been discovered in England. Although her exact date of birth is uncertain, there is evidence that she was a well-known poet and writer in England.


The setting of the lais of Marie de France reveals the complexities of human relationships. The lais are long and often have a rhyming scheme. Marie's lais are composed of eight-syllable lines with rhyming couplets, ranging from 118 to 1184 lines. The characters in the lais are archetypal, each fulfilling a specific function within the narrative.


Although historians have not been able to confirm Marie's precise identity, they do agree that the author of The Lais of Sainte-Marie de France was from Normandy. Marie's Lais are written in French, a widely read Anglo-Norman literary language. The poems are short, only about one sixth as long as Chretien de Troyes' verse romances. Most readers read the poem in its original form, but they have also been translated into Old Norse and Icelandic.

Moral ambiguity

Marie de France's lais explore moral ambiguity through an investigation of human / animal transformations. Characters resist being classified as human or animal and their external form is in constant flux. This suggests that humanity is a process and that it is a continuous transformation. There are conditions of humanity such as social inclusion and belief in God. But these conditions do not always result in a morally good outcome.

Literary value

The Lais of Marie de France are a collection of breton poetry, and they are particularly valuable as examples of medieval Christian literature. The language of these poems was originally a dialect of Old French called Breton. It is difficult to write short rhyming lines in English, so the authors usually used prose rather than poetry. However, this is not entirely wrong. The lais of Marie de France are an excellent example of medieval Christian literature, and it deserves closer study.

August 26, 2022




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