Melissa Rudder's Reviews > Erec et Enide

Erec et Enide by Chrétien de Troyes
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Sep 13, 08

Read in September, 2003

Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec and Enide, which presents the story of a knight and his beautiful love, while a story of adventure and romance, failed to interest me.

Of course, there were aspects of Chrétien’s tale that were fun and amusing. Two giants chasing a naked knight through the forest as his maiden cries and whines, a dwarf whipping anyone who comes near him, the forced marriage between a widow who isn’t really a widow and a king who likes her only ‘cause she’s beautiful…

But the whole story centered around the relationship between Erec and Enide, and a quest that seeks to challenge and test their relationship, and to me, it all amounts to Erec playing games with Enide’s emotions and it is really annoying. Enide is upset because Erec stopped doing tournaments and other knightly things, bringing him shame, so she talks to him about it and they go on a quest together, so Erec can prove himself to Enide and test her. He tells her not to speak to him as they travel, meaning that if enemies come to attack Erec, he expects Enide not to warn him. What kind of relationship is that? I don’t care if Enide is supposed to trust Erec to be able to defend himself and her: if she has information that he may not have that could help them, she should be able to say it. Maybe it’s my modern perspective, though the story otherwise seems fair in its evaluation of women: while it concentrates on beauty, it also repeatedly mentions wisdom, ability, personality, charm… It just presents what I think is an ugly relationship, trying to play it off as an ideal relationship, and it doesn’t work.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Lada (new)

Lada one must read it with the spirit of life's struggle, these mythic elements ate the constant battles

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