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The Presence and Importance of Morality and Integrity in "Lanval"

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Of all the lais of Marie De France, the story of Lanval displays love that is not only taken seriously but is pure at heart. These words cannot be denied. The lai “Lanval” is a story about pure and mature feeling of love between young knight Lanval and a rich mistress. Love in this lai is a mixture of pure love, deep admiration, and big respect. The mistress is shown as a strong woman with high moral features. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She comes from far place and offers Lanval all her love. Lanval promised to obey all her orders and “fulfill whatever needs” she has (Marie de France 125). The only thing she demanded was to keep their relations in secret, which he accepted.

Don't reveal yourself to any man!

I tell you, if you break this ban,

You will have lost me forever!

If this love is known, ever, (146-149)

The feeling that related this couple was not just temporary passion but real devotion. Lanval was so devoted to his beloved that he even dared to reject the Queen and was ready to sacrifice his life for his love. His moral integrity could not let him betray or offend his beloved. Thus, his integrity and honesty put his life in danger and saved his love at the same time.  

On the other hand, the mistress’ love was so strong that she decided to open the secret relationship in order to save her lover. This action is crucial in the poem as far as it shows that real feelings have great influence on person’s behavior. They change the person’s understanding of what is wrong and what is right.

To sum it up, I would like to say that the lai “Lanval” is a good example of how love can change human morality. “Lanval” shows how devoted and honest can people be. It is a story of pure love, respect, and sacrifice, and it teaches us that truthfulness, honesty, and devotion are essential and even crucial aspects of human relations.

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