The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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Muldumarec Character Analysis

Muldumarec, king of Caerleon, is a handsome knight who appears to the lady of Caerwent in the form of a hawk. He can transform between man and bird at will. He even assumes the lady’s likeness briefly in order to receive the Eucharist, in order to prove to her that he’s really a Christian. He tells the lady he has loved her from afar for a long time, but he could only visit her in response to her spoken wish. They enjoy a short-lived affair. However, the lord of Caerwent mounts spikes in his wife’s chamber window so that Muldumarec is mortally wounded the next time he flies through. Before he dies, he comforts his lover with the news that she is pregnant with their son Yonec, who will someday avenge them both. Many years later, after he’s grown up, Yonec kills the lord with Muldumarec’s sword and succeeds his father as lord and king of Caerleon.

Muldumarec Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by Muldumarec or refer to Muldumarec . 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
).
VII. Yonec Quotes

The lady, now assured, uncovered her head and spoke. She answered the knight, saying that she would make him her lover, provided he believed in God, which would make their love possible. […] ‘Lady,’ he said, ‘you are right. I would not on any account want guilt, distrust or suspicion to attach to me. I do believe in the Creator who set us free from the sorrow in which our ancestor Adam put us by biting the bitter apple. He is, will be and always has been life and light to sinners.’

Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

“Fair son, you have heard how God has brought us here! It is your father who lies here, whom this old man unjustly killed. Now I commend and hand over to you his sword, for I have kept it long enough.” For all to hear, she revealed to him that this was his father and he his son, how he used to come to her and how her husband had betrayed him. She told him the truth, fell into a faint on the tomb, and, while unconscious, died. She never spoke again, but when her son saw she was dead, he struck off his stepfather’s head, and thus with his father’s sword avenged his mother’s grief.

Related Characters: The Lady of Caerwent (speaker), Muldumarec , The Lord of Caerwent, Yonec
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
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Muldumarec Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character Muldumarec appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
VII. Yonec
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Next, Marie intends to tell the story of Yonec and how his father, Muldumarec, met his mother, the lady of Caerwent. In Britain, there was once a rich lord... (full context)
...while, it turns into a handsome knight. The lady cowers in fright, but the knight, Muldumarec, assures her that the hawk is a noble bird and that he’s loved her from... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
The lady of Caerwent agrees that Muldumarec can be her lover—as long as he believes in God. The knight assures her that... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
After the chaplain and the old woman have left, the lady of Caerwent and Muldumarec lie next to each other, flirting and sharing secrets. When the knight has to go,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...behind a curtain while the lady of Caerwent thinks she’s alone in her room. When Muldumarec comes, the old woman is alarmed, since at one moment the knight looks like a... (full context)
...The lady of Caerwent jumps out a window, miraculously surviving the 20-foot drop, and follows Muldumarec’s trail of blood through a tunnel and a meadow until she reaches a city whose... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...When they ask who’s buried in the tomb, the locals tearfully explain that it contains Muldumarec, the finest knight and king their land has ever known; he was killed at Caerwent... (full context)