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The World's Greatest Love Stories - Book Report/Review Example

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The World's Greatest Love Stories

The romance "Tristal and Iseult" was a bright example of Middle Age literature. In spite of the time the tragedy didn't lose its inner sense and was one of the most remarkable work of chivalry literature. The tale of chivalry was one of the major genres in medieval literature. It appeared in in France in the middle of twelfth century. That genre inherited some motives from the heroic epos, such as infinite strength and nobleness. In the tale of chivalry authors analysed the psychology of hero-knight, who performed a feat of valour in name of his glory and wanted to bring fame to his beloved lady. The modern concept of love owes a great deal to the Humanist tradition of the Renaissance. The humanists focused on perfection and exaltation of this life as opposed to the afterlife. In "Tristan and Iseult" the seeds of Renaissance love are present in the Middle Ages. To the modern eye, it is a mystery how the period of the Middle Ages produced the seeds of the diametrically opposite Renaissance. Yet it is necessary to understand this transformation if one is to fully comprehend the forces that helped the modern consciousness. Courtly Love is a transitional concept that emerged in the Middle Ages. It is transitional because it emerged early and acknowledges God as the creator of love, yet it concentrates on the lovers themselves. The tale of Tristan and Iseult is one of the oldest tales that exhibits courtly love. The Love of Tristan and Iseult, as a metaphor for courtly love, is pivotal to the transition from the Middle Ages' focus on community and afterlife to the Renaissance focus on the individual and earthly happiness.
The second difference concerns the plots of the tragedies. It is evident that the main events are distinctive in two works. The main event of "Tristan and Iseult" are breathtaken and fascinating. Tristan was the son of King. His mother gave him the name Tristan, that could be understood as the child of sadness. He lost the parents and was stolen by visiting Norwegian merchants in his childhood. He decided to escape them and was welcomed in the house of his uncle King Mark. The uncle was old and childless man, so he brought up and educated Tristan to make him king's successor. Tristan became the brave and handsome knight. He contended the Irish hero Marholt and released Kornuels from paying so called "alife tribute of three hundred youths and girls". But during the fight Marholt inflicted a serious wound on Tristan and it didn't heal. In search of recovery Tristan laid into the boat and went downwind. The boat brought him in Ireland where he met the Lady with the hair of gold, whose name was Iseult. She knew that Tristan had killed her brother, but she had to cure the knight's wound. "She alone, being skilled in philtres, could save Tristan, but she alone wished him dead" (Bedier, 2005).
When convalescent Tristan came back to Kornuel all local barons were jealous to Tristan. They demanded the marriage of the King and birth of successor. Mark didn't want to do that, but he announced that his wife would become a girl, which hair would be brought by a swallow. Tristan went in search of an unknown beauty and again found himself in Ireland. The King's daughter Iseult lived there and she was the very girl, which hair was brought by the swallow. Tristan won the battle with dragon who spouted fire. Tristan got Iseuld's hand from the King, but he proclaimed that he ...Show more


Two great tragedies of the world literature "Romeo and Juliet" and "Tristan and Iseult" can be discussed from two sides. On the one hand they have many similarities, on the other hand they have also obvious differences.
The first difference is that two masterpieces were written in different epochs…
Author : rashadcassin
The Worlds Greatest Love Stories essay example
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