The Lais of Marie de France


Marie de France

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In “Laüstic,” the married lady is the wife of a knight in St. Malo. She starts a love affair with a neighboring bachelor knight, talking with him through her window in the middle of the night. When her husband questions her about her absences, she claims that a nightingale’s sweet song keeps her awake. In response, her husband traps the nightingale that lives in their garden and kills it before his wife’s eyes. The lady is devastated, knowing she’s lost her pretext for standing by her window at night. She sends the bird’s body to the bachelor knight to remember her by.

The Married Lady Quotes in The Lais of Marie de France

The The Lais of Marie de France quotes below are all either spoken by The Married Lady or refer to The Married Lady. 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
VIII. Laüstic Quotes

When the lord heard what she said, he gave a spiteful, angry laugh and devised a plan to ensnare the nightingale. […] When they had taken the nightingale, it was handed over, still alive, to the lord […] She asked her husband for the bird, but he killed it out of spite, breaking its neck wickedly with his two hands. He threw the body at the lady, so that the front of her tunic was bespattered with blood[.]

Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Married Lady Character Timeline in The Lais of Marie de France

The timeline below shows where the character The Married Lady appears in The Lais of Marie de France. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
VIII. Laüstic
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
...offering her his love until she finally accepts. For a long time, the bachelor and the married lady enjoy a secret love affair. They manage this because their houses are so close together;... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
Magic and Storytelling Theme Icon
However, one summer, when everything is green and blooming, the situation changes. The married lady and the bachelor knight have gotten into the habit of standing at their windows in... (full context)
Love and Suffering Theme Icon
...breaks the nightingale’s neck and throws it at his wife, spattering her with its blood. The married lady weeps over the dead bird because she knows she can never spend her nights by... (full context)