The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Guilliadun Character Analysis

Guilliadun is a princess, daughter of a king near Exeter in England. She falls passionately in love with Eliduc, a knight in her father’s service. Unaware that he’s already married to Guildelüec, she hopes Eliduc will become her husband and pines for him when he goes home to Brittany. Later, Eliduc returns to England and sneaks Guilliadun onto a ship back to Brittany, but they face fierce storms during the journey. Worse, Guilliadun hears for the first time that Eliduc is actually married. Crushed by the betrayal, she swoons and appears to be dead, so Eliduc remorsefully places her body in a forest chapel. Later, Guildelüec finds and revives Guilliadun from her sleep, and Guilliadun explains how Eliduc wrongly tricked her. But Guildelüec assures Guilliadun that Eliduc is still devoted to her, and that she’s even willing to give him up so he and Guilliadun can marry. After happy years of marriage to Eliduc, Guilliadun joins Guildelüec’s convent for the rest of her days.

Guilliadun Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by Guilliadun or refer to Guilliadun. 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
).
XII. Eliduc Quotes

With gentle mien, honest expression and very noble demeanour, he spoke with much breeding and thanked the damsel, Guilliadun, who was very beautiful, for having sent for him to come and talk to her. She took him by the hand and they sat down on a bed and spoke of many things. […] Love dispatched its messenger who summoned her to love him. It made her go pale and sigh[.]

Related Characters: Eliduc, Guilliadun, Guildelüec, Marie de France
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

“I have behaved badly! […] Here I have deeply loved a girl, Guilliadun, the king’s daughter, and she has loved me. If I must leave her thus, one of us will have to die, or perhaps even both. But nevertheless I must go, for my lord has summoned me in a letter and required me by my oath, and my wife as well. […] If I were to marry my beloved, the Christian religion would not accept it. Things are going badly in all respects.”

Related Characters: Eliduc (speaker), Guilliadun, Guildelüec
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

Eliduc heard what he said and almost went demented with anger. “Son of a whore,” he said, “wicked and evil traitor, say no more!” […] But he held her in his arms and comforted her as best he could […] She fell face down, quite pale and wan, in a swoon in which she remained, for she did not come round or breathe. He who was taking her away with him truly believed that she was dead.

Related Characters: Eliduc (speaker), Guilliadun
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

With its teeth the weasel picked a flower, bright red in colour, and then quickly returned, placing it in the mouth of its companion, whom the servant had killed, with the result that it quickly recovered. The lady noticed this and shouted to the servant: “Catch it! Throw your stick, good man, do not let it escape!”

Related Characters: Guildelüec (speaker), Guilliadun, Eliduc, Marie de France
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

He often kissed the maiden and she him tenderly, for together they were very happy. When the lady saw how the looked, she spoke to her husband and asked him for permission to leave and to separate from him, for she wanted to be a nun and serve God.

Related Characters: Eliduc, Guilliadun, Guildelüec, Marie de France
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
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Guilliadun Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Guilliadun appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
XII. Eliduc
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
...paid soldier. While away from home, he falls in love with a beautiful princess named Guilliadun. (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...even more and retains his service for a year. During his stay, the king’s daughter, Guilliadun, hears about what a fine knight he is and invites him to visit her chamber.... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
For her part, Guilliadun can’t stop thinking about Eliduc. She stays up all night, and early the next morning,... (full context)
...and offers a gift in return, but the chamberlain refuses it. When he returns to Guilliadun, she begs for his opinion, and he reports that Eliduc is “not fickle […] and... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Eliduc continues to pine for Guilliadun, feeling trapped between his desires for her and his promise to his wife back home.... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...kicked the knight out of his court. When Eliduc hears the message, he’s grieved for Guilliadun’s sake. This whole time, there’s been no “foolishness” between them; they just talk and exchange... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...distraught. He’s duty-bound to return to Brittany, but he’s afraid that his departure will kill Guilliadun, or perhaps both of them. Yet he can’t marry Guilliadun because “the Christian religion would... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
When Eliduc enters Guilliadun’s chamber, she greets him “six thousand times.” When Eliduc explains that he must return to... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...Brittany, he is joyfully greeted by everyone, especially his wife. But he keeps thinking about Guilliadun, and he acts so depressed and withdrawn that Guildelüec is grieved. Eliduc insists it’s only... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
...home, but he’s brought another woman with him in defiance of God. If they throw Guilliadun overboard, the ship will be spared. Eliduc is outraged at this “traitor” and comforts Guilliadun... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...lives in a chapel in a thick forest near his home. He decides to have Guilliadun buried there; he will also establish a convent there, with monks and nuns to pray... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...him distraught. Two days later, he heads off into the forest again to check on Guilliadun’s body. Though she still appears not to breathe, she has a tiny bit of color... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...weasel. She quickly takes the red flower from the animal’s mouth and places it into Guilliadun’s mouth. A short time later, Guilliadun breathes again. Then she opens her eyes and says,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Guildelüec assures Guilliadun that Eliduc has not betrayed her—in fact, he visits her daily and will be overjoyed... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...Eliduc hears the whole story, he is ecstatic. He thanks his wife tenderly and kisses Guilliadun over and over. When Guildelüec sees their happiness, she asks for a separation. After all,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
After that, Eliduc marries Guilliadun, and they live happily together. They give away many alms, and Eliduc also builds a... (full context)