The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Lanval is a Knight of the Round Table. He’s poor and not originally from Britain, and the other knights regard him as an outsider—perhaps especially because he’s so handsome and chivalrous that he provokes their jealousy. One day while wandering alone in a meadow, Lanval is invited into a luxurious tent, where he meets a fairy lady. The lady offers to become his lover and to supply him with as much gold and silver as he wants, as long as he keeps their relationship secret. If he simply thinks of her, she will appear to him. She bestows such riches on Lanval that he’s able to be generous to his fellow knights and to the poor. While the other knights enjoy socializing and flirting with Queen Guinevere and her ladies, Lanval keeps to himself. This prompts Queen Guinevere to try to woo Lanval; in a panic, he tells her about his beautiful lady, whose servant girls alone are more beautiful than the Queen. Jealous and insulted, Guinevere then gets Lanval into trouble with King Arthur, who decides Lanval must face trial. Just when it seems that the fairy lady won’t respond to Lanval’s desperate summons, she appears on horseback and vindicates him before Arthur and the other knights. Lanval jumps onto her horse, and they disappear together to Avalon, never to be heard from again.

Lanval Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by Lanval or refer to Lanval. 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
).
V. Lanval Quotes

Arthur, the worthy and courtly king, was at Carlisle on account of the Scots and the Picts who were ravaging the country, penetrating into the land of Logres and frequently laying it waste.

The king was there during the summer, at Pentecost, and he gave many rich gifts to counts and barons and to those of the Round Table: there was no such company in the whole world. He apportioned wives and lands to all, save to one who had served him: this was Lanval, whom he did not remember, and for whom no one put in a good word.

Related Characters: King Arthur, Lanval, Marie de France
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lanval Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Lanval appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
V. Lanval
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...there, he gives lavish gifts to all the knights of the Round Table, except for one—Lanval—whom he’s forgotten about. In fact, because Lanval is so brave, generous, and beautiful, nobody likes... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
One day Lanval rides through a meadow and stops to let his horse roll in the grass. While... (full context)
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
Lanval and the fairy lady linger together until evening, but before he goes, the lady tells... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...of knights, including Gawain and Ywain, is relaxing in the queen’s garden. Gawain notices that Lanval is missing and insists that he be brought to join them, since he’s so generous... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
In response to the queen’s accusation, Lanval quickly says something he comes to regret: that he enjoys the love of a fairy... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
When Lanval is brought before the king, he’s so despondent that he wishes for death. Still, he... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
Lanval says this won’t be possible, but before the barons can banish him, they see two... (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
...on her wrist and a dog following. Everyone watches her approach with wonder, and when Lanval hears her described, he knows that his beloved has come, and he is saved. The... (full context)