Erec and Enide

by Chrétien de Troyes

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

In this Arthurian romance, many of the characters are connected with King Arthur’s court and the Round Table. Arthur and his queen, Guinevere, are the ruling monarchs.

Erec, the titular protagonist, is a knight of the Round Table. The early part of the book concerns his courtship of the lovely Enide, which includes fighting for her. Once they are married, the couple goes to live in Arthur’s Court, and Erec must soon leave wedded bliss to prove his bravery once again. Fighting against charges of cowardice as well as the obstacles he encounters, Erec validates his honor.

King Lac is Erec’s father. When he dies, Erec inherits the kingdom of Carnant and the title.

Enide, known for her exceptional beauty, first draws Erec’s attention when he sees a dwarf strike her. She then captures Erec’s heart when he comes to stay with her family and soon becomes his bride. Disturbed by reports of cowardice associated with his overextending their honeymoon, she initially pushes him to restore his knightly honor and then decides to go on the dangerous journey with him. Despite their numerous differences of opinions, she proves that she is brave as well as beautiful, thus showing that she is a worthy life partner as well.

Guivret the Little and Yder are two knights whom Erec vanquishes. Guivret becomes his friend, and Erec turns Yder over to Guinevere.

Sir Gawain and Sir Kay are other knights of the Round Table.

Count Galoin, viewing himself as Erec’s rival for Enide’s affection, plots to kill him but Enide prevents him from doing so, thus raising his estimation of her fine qualities.

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