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Lanval Short Summary

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Lanval is part of a collection of narratives by Marie de France. Originally it was written in anglo norman during the 12th century. It is the story about a knight of King Arthur who is in love with a fairy and as a result, rejects the Queen’s advances. The story got translated to English later when it became popular.

A Quick Flick Through the Plot

This is the story about a knight called Lanval who was part of the court of King Arthur but overlooked by Arthur. The knight was beautiful and courageous, and the other knights were jealous and would not mind if something tragic happened to him. Lanval lives a sad and lonely life.

One day when Lanval is watering his horse, he realizes that his horse is frightened and lets it go. He lies on the ground and thinks about his sad life. Two damsels approach him, one holding a towel and the other holding dishes made of gold. He rises to greet them, and they reveal that they want to take him to their mistress who was waiting in a tent.

When Lanval gets to the tent, he is baffled by sight, and he believes that even emperors cannot afford it. The lady inside it is beautiful beyond compare, and she was lying on expensive adornments. The maiden informs Lanval that she has been looking for him and was led by great love, and if Lanval was worthy, he would be granted great happiness. Lanval is struck by her beauty and falls in love too, and he says that he was willing to do anything the lady asks. They sleep together and become lovers. The maiden grants Lanval a boon whereby the more he spent in life, the more he would receive. The only stipulation is for him to keep their interaction a secret.

When Lanval gets home, he finds it beautiful, and his men well dressed, he has a lot, and he becomes generous to the people. He visited his love whenever he wanted.

Queen Guinnere tries to get Lanval to sleep with her, but Lanval rejects her advances. The queen is angry and labels him as gay. Lanval is furious about this and tells her about the beauty of his lover, who was more beautiful than the queen. The queen tells the king that Lanval made advances to seduce her. Lanval is put on trial. He tries to call his lover, but she does not show up.

While in court, Lanval is told to show evidence of what he boasted. The two girls who attended to Lanval’s lover appear with their mistress. Everyone sees that Lanvals woman is the most beautiful they had seen.

She testifies in Lanval’s favor, and Lanval gets set free. He leaves with the Lady, and they are not heard off again.

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