Paper No. 2

Paper No. 2 - Marie de France takes a more traditional...

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Marie de France takes a more traditional approach towards love, in which the lady is merely a function of her surroundings with no ability to influence her relationships. Giovanni Boccaccio, on the other hand, uses the story of Ghismonda and Guiscardo as a social commentary on heroine strength and social equality. The Laustic story is an ode to unfulfilled love and contrasts the story of Ghismonda and Guiscardo from Decameron, Day IV, story 1, in which Ghismonda exercises her moral strength to love Guiscardo even through death The difference between the two stories lies in the women of each story. The Lady in Laustic is a feeble, placid lover who is victimized by her vengeful husband whereas Ghismonda stands up for her lover and her relationship. The Lady and the knight meet because they live next to each other, and their love is held between the panes of two windows, never completely reaching the other. Conversely, Ghismonda searches for a lover and finds Guiscardo, which triggers a passionate relationship between this princess and a lower class citizen. Far from denying the romantic and sexual aspects of her love, she informs Tancred that he was once a young adult filled with the same “carnal desire” that Ghismonda now experiences. The Lady and the knight, however, hide their love, resorting to midnight rendezvous and stories about the nightingale. Ghismonda would never let a mere wall separate her from a potential lover; in fact, even death can’t keep Ghismonda from fighting for love. This is what separates the Lady from Ghismonda. It seems as though the Laustic lovers can hardly be called such; the Lady loves him simply because of his multiple entreaties, good social standing, and close proximity. Their
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2008 for the course FRENCH 50AX taught by Professor Brown during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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Paper No. 2 - Marie de France takes a more traditional...

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