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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Important Arthurian Works: Chrétien de Troyes

In the late 12th century, Frenchman Chrétien de Troyes was a poet in the court of Marie, countess of Champagne, suggesting he may have been a court poet. He wrote five major poems in eight-syllable rhyming couplets:
  • Érec et Énide (c. 1165-1170)
  • Cligès (c. 1176)
  • Yvain, the Knight of the Lion (c. 1171-1181)
  • Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette (Lancelot, the King of the Cart) (c. 1177-1181)
  • Perceval, le Conte du Graal (Perceval, the Story of the Grail) (c. 1181-1190)
The first four were finished, but Perceval was not. He finished only 9000 lines, but 54,000 lines were added by four other writers. These works, especially the latter two, are significant for introducing the character of Lancelot and the quest for the Holy Grail to Arthurian legend. Those tales were expanded in the Vulgate Cycle in the first half of the next century.

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