The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Milun is a Welsh knight who’s renowned throughout Europe for his skill. He and the damsel fall in love and begin meeting in secret. After the damsel becomes pregnant with their child, he helps smuggle the baby to Northumbria to be raised by the damsel’s sister. After the damsel is forced to marry another man, Milun communicates with her by sending her a swan with a letter tied to its neck; they maintain this correspondence for 20 years. When Milun is an old man, he hears about a famous young knight and travels to Brittany to joust with the youngster and prove he’s still the most praiseworthy knight. At a tournament at Mont St. Michel, the two meet and fight, and though Milun breaks the other knight’s lance, he is knocked off his horse. He and the young knight start talking, and Milun realizes his opponent is his long-lost son. The two joyfully travel to Wales together, and after learning that the damsel’s husband is dead, Milun finally marries his beloved.

Milun Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

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

But hear now what happened next. Using her ingenuity she got hold of ink and parchment. She was able to write whatever she pleased, and seal the letter with a ring. Having let the swan go without food, she hung the letter round its neck and released it. The bird was famished and eager for food: swiftly it returned home. In Milun’s town and in his dwelling it alighted before him. When he saw it, he was full of joy.

Related Characters: Marie de France (speaker), The Damsel, Milun
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

When Milun heard the news, it seemed quite wonderful to him. He explained this to his son. There was nothing to hinder or delay them. They travelled until they reached the castle where the lady was. She was delighted by her son who was so valiant and noble. They summoned no kinsmen and without the advice of anyone else their son united them and gave his mother to his father. Thereafter they lived night and day in happiness and tenderness.

Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
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Milun Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Milun appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
IX. Milun
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
A knight named Milun was born in South Wales. He’s such a bold and skilled knight that he’s famous... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
...effectively that nobody realizes what’s happening. After the damsel’s beautiful son is born, they hang Milun’s ring around his neck along with a letter, then tuck the baby into a cradle... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Milun travels abroad as a mercenary, hoping to gain fame, and the damsel’s father betroths her... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Milun’s letter instructs the damsel to figure out a secret way for them to meet and... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Milun and the damsel communicate this way for 20 years, with the swan acting as their... (full context)
When Milun hears about this impressive young knight, he feels depressed—as long as he’s capable of bearing... (full context)
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Milun spends that whole winter competing in tournaments and gathering knights around him. Around Easter, many... (full context)
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
When Milun hears this, he eagerly seizes the young knight, proclaiming that his life is whole again:... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
The next day, Milun and his son journey to Wales. On their way, they meet a servant of Milun’s... (full context)