Allegorical Elements in Yvain or the Knight With the Lion

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Andrew Marinaccio

Honors Medieval Literature

Ms. Chabina Block 3

07 October 2014

Allegorical Elements in Yvain or the Knight With the Lion

Chretien DeTroyes develops a religious, allegorical undertone in his book Yvain through his portrayal of the mentors who choose to help Yvain on his journey. The god-like qualities and characteristics that the mentors in the story posses show the evident relationship between the mentors and god.

A reoccurring theme that was shown throughout Yvain's adventures is how he usually has to battle against an unjust cause. This shows how Yvain was frequently faced with a form of evil and had to orchestrate a way to overcome it. Initially, Yvain is faced with his own madness after he comes to the realization that he has broke his promise with his wife. "Once in the wood he lay in wait for animals, killed them, and ate them completely raw, like a wild man" (DeTroyes 79).

To Yvain's fortune, a hermit catches sight of him prancing around without clothes and graciously comes to his aid and provides him with bread, water, and a prayer. "The hermit offered a sincere prayer when he saw the madman go. He prayed the Lord God would bestow protection on the Lord Yvain" (DeTroyes 80). A hermit is defined as a person who has secluded themselves from society for religious purposes. The hermit represents a figure of god, and the hermit prays to god for Yvain's sake. The significance of the hermit was to show that Yvain needed a little bit of god in his life to be persistent in his journey overcome any and all obstacles that he was facing, this time the obstacle being his insanity.

In Yvain's next encounter, he was put into a situation where Harpin, a giant, stole all seven of...