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The Romance of Tristan

The Romance of Tristan

by Béroul

The Romance of Tristan Analysis

Literary Devices in The Romance of Tristan

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

In a world… where lords battle for control… over territories near and far… with the help of loyal knights… who defend them other lords… and from the supernatural…This is the world of Tr...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of The Romance of Tristan is way omnipotent: at several points in the story, he tells us the fate that awaits his characters long before it comes to pass. He particularly delights in r...

Genre

The title by which we know Béroul's version of the popular medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, The Romance of Tristan, marks the story as part of the medieval romance genre of literature. Medie...

Tone

Sure, ironic and ambiguous stuff happens in The Romance of Tristan. But we, the readers, are never left in any doubt about where our sympathies should lie, nor about how to interpret the things tha...

Writing Style

Béroul's retelling of the legend is one of five of the earliest written versions we know of. All of these written versions probably come from a single original version that is now lost. This versi...

What's Up With the Title?

The Romance of Tristan is actually the romance of Tristan and Yseut, his lady. If that's the case, then why isn't she in the title? Well, folks, this is a medieval romance, a genre that is usually...

What's Up With the Ending?

As Tristan lies dying in his bed, he asks his wife to look out the window and tell him whether the sails of an approaching ship are black or white. If the sails are white, he knows it's his messeng...

Tough-o-Meter

Since you, like us, will probably be reading Béroul's Tristan in translation, you're in for a quick and easy read. That changes if you decide to tackle Tristan in Old French, a language that, like...

Plot Analysis

Tristan claims Yseut as a bride for his uncle and lord, King Mark.All the ingredients for a classic love triangle are firmly in place: beautiful maiden, knight in shining armor, and a lord with a c...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

After getting a nobleman's education, Tristan reveals his identity as Mark's nephew, is knighted, and serves as Mark's champion against Morholt of Ireland. Tristan is the perfect knight, skilled in...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Tristan of Lyonesse arrives at the court of his uncle, King Mark of Cornwall. He receives a festering wound while acting as Mark's champion against Morholt of Ireland and receives healing at the ha...

Trivia

The only things we know about Béroul, author of the Romance of Tristan, are that he was named Béroul and that he wrote The Romance of Tristan in "about the middle of the twelfth century" (Fedrick...

Steaminess Rating

PG-13It's getting a little steamy in here. The first thing Tristan and Yseut do after they drink the love potion is to confess their love to one another. The second thing? Yup, that would be sex. A...

Allusions

Solomon (8.80)Cato (10.91)

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