7.4/101 Votes Alchetron
Originally published 1170
|Similar Works by Chrétien de Troyes, King Arthur books|
Yvain, the Knight of the Lion (French: Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion) is an Arthurian romance by French poet Chrétien de Troyes. It was probably written in the 1170s simultaneously with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and includes several references to the narrative of that poem.
It is a story of knight-errantry, in which the protagonist Yvain is first rejected by his lady for breaking a promise, and subsequently performs a number of heroic deeds in order to regain her favor.
In the narrative, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin Calogrenant who had been defeated by an otherworldly knight Esclados beside a magical storm-making stone in the forest of Brocéliande. Yvain defeats Esclados and falls in love with his widow Laudine. With the aid of Laudine's servant Lunete, Yvain wins his lady and marries her, but Gawain convinces him to leave Laudine behind to embark on chivalric adventure. Laudine assents but demands he return after one year. Yvain becomes so enthralled in his knightly exploits that he forgets to return to his wife within the allotted time, so she rejects him. Yvain goes mad with grief, is cured by a noblewoman, and decides to rediscover himself and find a way to win back Laudine. A lion he rescues from a dragon proves to be a loyal companion and a symbol of knightly virtue, and helps him defeat both a mighty giant and three fierce knights. After Yvain rescues Lunete from being burned at the stake, she helps Yvain win back his wife, who allows him to return, along with his lion.