The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Iseult Character Analysis

In “Chevrefoil,” Iseult is a queen, married to King Mark of Cornwall but in love with Tristram. On her way to a festival, she sees Tristram’s honeysuckle symbol on a hazel branch and finds him in the nearby woods. After a happy reunion, Iseult also counsels Tristram on how to reconcile with her husband King Mark, who’d banished Tristram due to his love for Iseult.
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Iseult Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Iseult appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
XI. Chevrefoil
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
Marie has often heard recited the lay called “Chevrefoil,” which concerns Tristram and Queen Iseult and their pure love, which caused them distress and eventually brought about their deaths. King... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Finally, Tristram leaves Wales for Cornwall, where Iseult lives. He travels secretly through the forest, only emerging at night to lodge with peasants... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
As Iseult rides along, she spots the hazel branch and commands her retinue to stop. She ventures... (full context)