The Lais of Marie de France

by

Marie de France

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The Lord of Caerwent Character Analysis

The lord of Caerwent is a wealthy, elderly British lord who marries the lady of Caerwent in hopes of having an heir. He’s very jealous of her youth and beauty, though, and keeps her locked in a tower to prevent her from having an affair. Though he’s thwarted in this, he kills his wife’s lover, Muldumarec. Many years later, his wife’s son Yonec, conceived with her lover, avenges both his parents by beheading the lord of Caerwent.

The Lord of Caerwent Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by The Lord of Caerwent or refer to The Lord of Caerwent. 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
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Lais of Marie de France published in 1986.
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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The Lord of Caerwent Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character The Lord of Caerwent 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
...Muldumarec, met his mother, the lady of Caerwent. In Britain, there was once a rich lord of Caerwent who, when he was already quite old, married a young woman in hopes of having... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Class Status Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
...of Caerwent is so depressed that she has lost her beauty. One spring day, the lord of Caerwent goes hunting and has his sister lock the doors behind him. Alone in her chamber,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
...content to stay in her tower so that she can see her beloved whenever the lord of Caerwent is out of the way. The suspicious lord notices the change in his wife, however,... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Virtue, Vice, and Justice Theme Icon
...she calls to Yonec, saying that his father is buried here, unjustly killed by the lord of Caerwent . She hands over the sword she’s kept for him and tells everyone the whole... (full context)