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The Romance of Tristan

The Romance of Tristan


by Béroul

The Romance of Tristan Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why doesn't The Romance of Tristan condemn Tristan and Yseut for their adulterous affair? Isn't their adultery a betrayal of their society's most important values?
  2. Why are Tristan and Yseut sleeping with a sword in between them when Mark discovers them in their woodland bower? Is there a reasonable explanation for their sleeping arrangements, or is this just a convenient narrative cop-out?
  3. Why do Tristan and Yseut continue their affair after the potion has worn off, even after Yseut states that their physical relationship has come to an end?
  4. Does King Mark seem like a sympathetic character to you? What are his faults? Does he seem to deserve his fate?
  5. What does it mean for Tristan to help Kaherdin carry on an affair with a married woman? Or for Yseut to try to have Brangain killed? Do these actions change how we think about the lovers? Or is there a good explanation for their behavior?

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