Tristan, the son of Rivalen, was orphaned shortly after his mother Blanchefleur died. He is thus reared as a son of his father’s servant Rohalt who protected him from the Rivalen’s enemies. Tristan was kidnapped by the merchants at arrived in Cornwall which was the realm of King Mark who was a brother to Blanchefleur. When Rohalt revealed their blood relationship to mark, the king realized his affection for the youth.
In response to the demands of the Irish, for a tribute that was long rejected by mark, with a single combat with mortality Tristan becomes the Irish champion. When Tristan was wounded by a sword that was poisoned, Tristan set adrift on the sea and arrived in Ireland by chance. He was cared for and given care by sister to Morholt who was the Irish queen and Iseult who was his niece. Tristan later returned to Ireland where he managed to kill a dragon towards winning Iseult for King Mark (Bédie .et. al, 2011). On their way to Cornwall, Iseult and Tristan drank what they thought was wine, but it was a love potion that was prepared by Iseult’s mother. She did so to ensure a mutual love between Mark and his marriage partner. Abroad ship, Tristan was unable to resist the drink and thus the two consummate their love.
In medieval Cornwall, involvement with the queen in adultery is a big crime punishable by death (Deacon, 2007). Nevertheless, it does not stop Iseult and Tristan; they become tormented by their love and do things that they usually wouldn’t do. Tristan is tempted to betray his uncle and Iseult gives up the life of being a queen and eventually became a beggar in the forest. Tristan felt like he was going mad after their separation.
The story did not end well as their love had obstacles. Even though in the end they struggled to get together, Iseult and Tristan love inspired countless imitators. The message is that even if love is forbidden or even never fulfilled, it is always worthwhile for its sake. Tristan went o the forest in search of his love only to find her sleeping beside another man. To his assumption is that the love of his life wanted to avenge against him. He sat down and cried uncontrollably without knowing whether to escape unnoticed or fight for his love.
When Iseult saw her husband, she could also not help but weep. Tristan could not hold his head straight due to the guilt he felt for their love. He visualized the journey they had gone through and the small action that split their relationship. With a lot of courage, Tristan stood up strong armed with an arrow to confront the man sleeping beside his lover. The man was covered with old clothing that had a strong smell. He unwrapped the clothing shouting and accusing him of committing adultery with his wife. Suddenly he had a loud cry. He stopped everything and looked at the man. Upon a close glance, he realized that it was a baby. Iseult had given birth to baby boy and wrapped him well to prevent her from the cold in the forest.
With a lot of tears, Iseult told Tristan that had been pregnant with his baby and could not reveal it due to the danger she was exposed to. They both cried and held each other passionately. Afterwards, they went back to the palace and on the way hunted some meat for the feast they had planned to celebrate the birth of their child. The couple lived happily ever after.
The Fortune of Nicholas and Alisoun
The story was inspired by in miller’s prologue; the pilgrims applaud the tale that was told by Knight. The host was pleased and thus told the monk to match it. Before the monk could say anything, the drunken miller interrupted promising that he had a noble tale that could repay that of the monk. The host tried to convince Miller to let the monk narrate the tale, but he threatened to leave (Bingru, 2006). Therefore, the host acquiesces. Before Miller tells the story, he reminds everyone that he was drunk and hence they should not hold him accountable for whatever he said.
Miller tells a story of a life of a carpenter, and his life and how made a fool of the carpenter clerks as they eyed his young and beautiful wife (King ,2000). Nicholas who boarded with John who was an ignorant old carpenter eyed his wife, Alisoun. The wife was young and beautiful. Alisoun fell in love with Nicholas and enjoyed his company. One-day John was to go to a far land to fetch some materials or his carpentry job. He left his wife and told her never to leave the house or allow any visitor to the house.
John was to take a journey of 7 days to an empire where the king had promised to repay him for the good work he had offered to him. At the back of his horse, he attached a cart that could carry the reward. Through the window, Alisoun looked and smiled when the husband left. She knew it was the time to have all the time she wanted with Nicholas. She stayed at the window so that she could see Nicholas on his way home. When Nicholas came along, she called him and told him that the husband had left for a week and had locked her in the house. Nicholas happiness was beyond description he went to the door to open only to find John’s fierce dog tied to the door lock. When approached the door the dog barked irrepressibly. He had to find a solution. He threw a big piece of meat to the dog and untied it up and unlocked the door. It marked the beginning of romance and love for Nicholas and Alisoun who got a chance to consummate their love.
After seven days John did not come back. Rumors had it that there was a strong storm in the land that he was visiting and had led to numerous deaths. There was no way that Alisoun could look for her husband and still hope that one day he would come back. She cried endlessly, but Nicholas consoled her. She had mixed feelings of happiness and sadness and did not clearly understand it. Eventually, the fat old carpenter did not return to the land.
The Lucky Prince
Cedany was a beautiful girl princess who wanted to have singing leaves for a long time. On his way to the forest, her father found singing leaves and promised to give them to the first person he meets on his way home. As he approaches his castle, Cedany was the first to greet his father, and thus the father handed in the singing leaves to her.
On day Cedany left her singing leaves in the sun, and they withered and could not sing anymore. She cried while cursing herself. She thought that she could go to the forest in search of similar leaves through tracing her father’s steps. At some point, the ground opened and swallowed her. She found herself in a big hall which was huge and lavish. It was decorated with silks and gold. Beautiful candles were burning throughout the building. Suddenly the lights went off, and she could not see anyone. The beauty almost made her forget her grief. Suddenly the door was opened, and she could hear some steps coming towards her. A deep voice greeted her and told her to sit down.
The candles were lit and before her sat a prince and a ruler of a great kingdom. The prince told Cedany that he was worried as there was a witch who had a cast a spell on him. If the princess agreed to marry him and stay faithful to him without having to see his face the spell was to be broken. If she breaks the vows, the prince will be to be lost to the witch.
The prince told Cedany that he would not stop her to go back to her father’s castle if she was not willing to marry him. Nevertheless, she was ready to help the prince, and they got married and lived happily ever after.
Bédier, J., Belloc, H., Nicolosi, V., Rintoul, V., & Beckford, W. G. (2011). The romance of Tristan and Iseult. New York: Fonthill Press LLC.
Bingru, G. (2006). Revolutionary Narrative in The Seventeen Years Period. Words and Their Stories, 305-318.
Chaucer, G., & Coghill, N. (1951). The Chanterbury tales. Melbourne: Penguin.
Deacon, B. (2007). A concise history of Cornwall. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Appelbaum, S. (2012). Medieval Tales and Stories: 108 Prose Narratives of the Middle Ages. Dover Publications. King, P. M. (2000). The miller’s prologue and tale, Geoffrey Chaucer: Note. London: York Press