Melion and Biclarel : Two Old French Werwolf Lays (Liverpool by Amanda (ed.) Hopkins

By Amanda (ed.) Hopkins

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Extra resources for Melion and Biclarel : Two Old French Werwolf Lays (Liverpool Online Series Critical Editions of French Texts : 10)

Example text

He came forward, removed the boots And Melion went into the woods. He removed his clothes, remained naked, And wrapped himself in his cloak. She touched him with the ring When she saw him naked and undressed. 59 Two Old French W erwolf Lays 184 188 192 196 200 204 208 212 216 220 224 Lors devint leu grant et corsus: En grant paine s’est enbatus. Li leus s’en vait, molt tost corant La ou il vit le cerf gisant; Tost se fu en la trace mis. Anchois sera grant li estris Que il l’ait pris ne adesé, Ne que il avra del lardé.

And here there can be no doubt’ (p. 81). This comparison of the wife’s adultery and the husband’s therianthropy seems ill-founded: as Marie herself makes clear, both in Bisclavret and elsewhere, adultery is a choice and treachery a deliberate act; since Bisclavret’s metamorphosis is imposed on him by nature, it cannot be seen in the terms of choice fundamental to treachery. 30 Introduction nature has imposed upon his organization. He is to be pitied as an innocent victim’ (‘An Historical Study’, p.

43-46) On Biclarel’s return to his cache, he immediately understands his wife’s treachery. Similarly, when Melion fails to find his wife waiting with his clothes and the magic ring, the narrator makes plain that the hero’s consternation is that of a reasoning creature, a human being: Molt fu dolans, ne set que face, Qant il ne le troeve en la place. Mais neporqant se leus estoit, Sens e memoire d’ome avoit. (vv. 215-218) Melion’s subsequent actions underline the coherent duality further: he deduces that his wife, the daughter of the Irish king, has returned to her homeland, and succeeds in following her.

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