Two Hearts that Beat as One in Tristan and Iseult

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Two Hearts that Beat as One in Tristan and Iseult

What causes two people in a relationship to be caught in an emotional roller coaster? There are many answers to this question. In the book, -The Romance of Tristan and Iseult, by Joseph Bedier, Tristan and Iseult had a relationship that can only be explained psychologically and spiritually. From the beginning of Tristans' childhood, he was born of misfortune that seemed to cycle throughout his life. His father died and his mother abandoned him because she did not survive his birth. When he had a relationship with Iseult, they were constantly separated from each other. Tristans' longing for contact with Iseult is a reflection of his childhood relationships. Based on psychoanalysis, throughout Tristans' life, he experiences attachment and separation.

Adults convey different attachment styles that determine their behavior in love relationships. Since Tristan was abandoned by his parents, unable to create a bond with his mother, Governal and Rohalt provided psychological needs, especially security, to reached out as an attachment figure to him. In Psychology Today, "Love:The Immutable Longing for Contact" by Susan Johnson, John Bowlby states "The deep sense of security that develops fosters in the infant enough confidence to begin exploring the surrounding world, making excursions into it, and developing relationships with others"(Johnson 34). Tristan definitely illustrates the security mentioned above. He was taken care of, loved, treated like their own son, and he was prepared to visit other lands. During his trip he immediately initiated a relationship with King Mark. Not knowing Tristan was his nephew, he was mesmerized by his voice and playing of the harp, they we...

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...beforehand. He was also going through an identity crisis, trying to find his true self and knowing what was best for him. He had loved the people had relationships with but most importantly he learned to love himself when he was ultimately seperated from Iseult the Fair. On a psychological point of view, he experienced the continuing affections from others because it was a survival need. From infancy to maturity love needs to be present at all times. Love is a solid force for challenging the obstacles in life.


Works Cited

Bedier, Joseph. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult. New York, 1994

De Rougemont, Denis. Love in the Western World. New York, New York. 1956

Johnson, Susan. "Love: The Immublable Longing for Contact." Psychology Today

p. 32-37. V 27 n 2

Moore, Thomas. "Soul Mate." Psychology Today. March/April 1994

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