Chretien de Troyes and Mabinogionfrage Essay

Chretien de Troyes and Mabinogionfrage Essay

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The Mabinogion is a collection of eleven tales from the Welsh myths, preserved in two manuscripts, the White Book of Rhydderch and Red Book of Hergest. The tales from the Mabinogion are divided into three categories: the first four tales belong to the Four Branches; the next four are the Independent tales; and the last three are called the Three Romances, which show strong association to the French romances written by Chretien de Troyes. Historia Peredur ab Efrawg shares significant material in common with Chretien’s Perceval or Le Conte du Graal; the Welsh romance of Owain, subtitled Chwedl Iarlles Y Fynawn is clearly related to Yvain, Le Chevalier du Lion; and the chwedl (Welsh tale) Geraint ab Erbin follows the plot-line of Chretien’s Erec et Enid perfectly. These similarities immediately call into question the origin, history, and influences of the tales – or so called mabinogionfrage. Through examining the work of Chretien de Troyes and historical and thematic evidence, we will elucidate the relationship between these parallel stories and attempt to explain the mabinogionfrage.
When Chretien de Troyes began his first Arthurian Romance, Erec et Enid, around 1170, the Arthurian legend had already spread throughout Western Europe, told by crusading armies in the Middle East. It is important to note that not only was the popularity of the Arthurian complex already a pan-European phenomenon, but the lines of communication between its courtly Franco-Norman audiences and its native Welsh sources were already well-established (Parker). Chretien is described as a poet, with an inferred clerical background, whose Arthurian projects were sponsored by the Houses of Champagne and Flanders, nominal vassals of the king of France. Hi...


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"Mabinogion." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. .
"The Mabinogion." Index. Trans. Charlotte Guest, Lady. N.p., n.d. Web. Apr. 2014. .
McGoodwin, Michael. "Chrétien De Troyes (Chretien) Perceval Summary." Chrétien De Troyes (Chretien) Perceval Summary. N.p., 2002. Web. Apr. 2014. .
Parker, Will. "The Three Romances." Three Romances. N.p., Aug. 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. .
Ralls, Karen. "Legends of the Grail: The Chivalric Vision." Http://www.theosophical.org/publications/1506. Quest Magazine, Nov.-Dec. 2003. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. .

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