The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife Character Analysis

Bisclavret’s wife is, of course, married to Bisclavret. She is a suspicious and discontented spouse. Unaware that Bisclavret is a werewolf, she presses him mercilessly about his whereabouts each week, and when she learns the truth, she betrays him by sending her lover to steal Bisclavret’s clothes and ensuring that he can’t become human again. Later, when she brings the king a gift, Bisclavret attacks her in revenge, tearing her nose off. Then, the king has her tortured to find out the truth about Bisclavret. She quickly tells him everything and brings Bisclavret’s hidden clothes. After Bisclavret’s transformation and the restoration of his baronage, the ex-wife and her lover are banished from the kingdom. Bisclavret’s wife goes on to have many children, and the girls are born without noses, a reminder of their mother’s disloyalty.

Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife or refer to Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
).
IV. Bisclavret Quotes

Not long afterwards, as I understand it, the king, who was wise and courtly, went into the forest where Bisclavret had been discovered. Bisclavret accompanied him and on the way home that night the king took lodging in that region. Bisclavret’s wife learnt of this and, dressing herself elegantly, went next day to speak to the king, taking an expensive present for him. When Bisclavret saw her approach, no one could restrain him. He dashed towards her like a madman. Just hear how successfully he took his revenge. He tore the nose right off her face.

Related Characters: Marie de France (speaker), Bisclavret, Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Bisclavret’s Wife/Ex-Wife appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
IV. Bisclavret
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...beasts. Once, a respected baron named Bisclavret lived in Brittany with his beautiful wife. But Bisclavret’s wife is worried: each week, her husband disappears for three full days, and nobody knows where... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
Bisclavret’s wife persists, however, and finally, Bisclavret reveals the whole story: he becomes a werewolf. Each week,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
Bisclavret’s wife is so disturbed by this story that she decides she must separate from her husband.... (full context)
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...holds a festival, people come from all the surrounding fiefs to celebrate. Among them is Bisclavret’s wife ’s lover (now her second husband). As soon as this knight arrives, Bisclavret sinks his... (full context)
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...with Bisclavret at his side. On the way home, he lodges in the region, and Bisclavret’s ex-wife goes to visit the king with an expensive present. As soon as Bisclavret sees her,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...asleep on his bed. The king embraces Bisclavret, restores his lands to him, and banishes Bisclavret’s ex-wife from the region, along with her lover. Together, Bisclavret’s ex-wife and her lover have many... (full context)