What is the primary message of the book Yvain, the Knight of the Lion?
Chretien de Troyes's Le Chevalier au Lion (Yvain and the Lion, ca. 1177) was most likely written when Chretien was a poet in the court of the Count of Flanders, and like other tales of Chretien's—Le Chavalier de la Charrette (The Knight of the Carriage—Launcelot)—was part of twelfth-century continental Arthurian literature. At this time, court poets focused their material on such concepts as courtesy, courtliness, adherence to the code of knighthood, the supremacy of King Arthur and his court, the pursuit of courtly love, defeat of supernatural beings, and, perhaps most important, individual knights' quests for perfection.
In Yvain, we have a knight who goes on a quest to avenge another knight, Calogrenant, by killing a royal woman's (Laudine) husband, and then falling in love and marrying her. Persuaded by Gawain to return to Arthur's court to continue building his reputation as a knight, Yvain—given permission by Laudine to be gone for a year—goes on a knightly quest "binge" and...
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