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Of the three lais in my grouping, the characters' challenge to the supernatural hierarchy of the marvelous over man is most noticeable in Deus Amanz. In Equitan and Chevrefoil, "merveille" (167) and "esmerveilliez" (21), respectively, are used simply to indicate surprise, but in the lai of the Two Lovers the word "merveille" describes a physical feature of the land.
The characters' mistakes in Deus Amanz stem from the nobility's concern with their own comforts and discomforts.
This theme is apparent even in the introductory lines of Deus Amanz. Marie writes that she has heard tell of the events of "deus enfanz," two children who fell in love and died (2-4).
McCash argues that the princess in Deus Amanz is "the true protagonist of the tale ...
Like the seneschal's wife who consents to the king's advances in Equitan and the Queen who meets Tristan in secret in Chevrefoil, the princess in Deus Amanz is as equally guilty of choosing infertility as her lover is.
The princess's death makes her "no longer [able to] protect [her father] from [his] grief" for his dead family (McCash 462), but the opportunity he takes to listen to his people's advice (Deus Amanz 248) signals the end of his stagnant rule and the beginning of his healing.
"The Metamorphoses and Narrative Conjointure in 'Deus Amanz,' 'Yonec,' and 'Laustic.'" Romanic Review 72.
"Notes on 'Les Deus Amanz.'" The Lais of Marie de France.
"The Mulier Mediatrix in the Deus Amanz of Marie de France." Courtly Arts and the Art of Courtliness: Selected Papers from the Eleventh Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society.