Infinint Love Essay, Research Paper
Love has been present throughout the history of mankind. It s not a surprise that it has been the topic of countless poems, novels, lyrics, and many other forms of writing. The original love story is Tristan and Iseult. Tristan and Iseult are second only to Lancelot and Guinevere as the great lovers of the Arthurian legends. The story of their tragic love has been the subject of numerous medieval and modern retellings. The medieval versions of the story are sometimes divided into two branches, called the courtly and the common versions. The former is represented by the Tristan of the Anglo-Norman poet Thomas, which was written in the latter part of the twelfth century. His version in turn influenced Gottfried von Strassburg, whose Tristan, written in the first decade of the thirteenth century, is one of the great romances of the Middle Ages, and the Old Norse Tristrams saga (1226). This story is a mirror image of value of courtly love during the Middle Ages.
The story of Tristan and Isuelt relates the culture in which it was written in. Tristan and Isuelt demonstrates love versus social convention. The story is comparable to the era (Middle Ages) in which it was written in. Epics were the focus of many literary workings during this time period. There was the concept of ideal love which last forever even beyond death. During the Middle Ages the culture was influenced its economic system. Feodalism or vassal system was the predominate economic system. Kings ruled the land and knights served the King. This is a very strong influential factor in Tristan and Iseult. Isuelt was portrayed as a perfect lady with no flaws. Another theme that was popular during the time was the idea of servitude to the lady. An honorable man s job was to serve his lady. The Crusades where probably the most prominent element during the Middle Ages and thus the Knight became known. Knights represented honor and nobility. They followed knight s conduct, which was influenced by religion (Christianity).
The plot of Tristan and Iseult is classic. The plot has influenced many other stories of love. One key example would be the story of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is an example of love versus social convention. Their tragic love for another is not accepted because of the rivalry of their families. Phadre is another example that is similar to Tristan and Iseult. In Phadre, society s view of incest forbid Phadre to love her step son.
Tristan and Iseult is based on the battle between individual versus culture. This is similar to Romanticism in the 19th century. During this time period the individual I is opposed to outside values. Individual is more important that social convents or culture.
This plot of love can be compared to all periods of time because love is a universal concept. Everybody, reguardless to culture or time period can understand love. It is a natural thing that exists in all humans. That is the reason this story can be understood by everyone.
The theme of Tristan and Iseult can be seen in the twentieth century. An example would be during segregation of the South during the 1950 s-1960 s. It was unacceptable for white and black people to be involved in a relation with one another because of racism in the culture of that time. Social conventions would not allow a love between these two races.
The story of Tristan and Iseult was touching to me. I am currently in situation that shows some similarities to Tristan and Iseult. I am currently dating my girlfriend Analenda which comes from a traditional Mexican family. Her family does not like that she is dating a boy outside of their race. When I read this novel it made me think of my situation. Not only does Tristan and Iseult compare to my relationship but with everyone because we all have experienced love at one time or another in our lives. That is the persise reason this book is so universal and can be compared to any time period.