Scholarly edition and translation into contemporary French (most recent of several available):

Nathalie Koble, Mireille Séguy ed & trans., Lais bretons (XIIe-XIIIe siècles)Marie de France et ses contemporains (Paris: Éditions Honoré Champion, 2018).

You are watching: Lanval marie de france

There are two great English translations (not freely available on-line, however with countless inexpensive offered copies available via on-line booksellers):

Gly Burgess and also Keith Busby, trans. The Lais that Marie De France v Two further Lais in the initial Old French (New York: Penguin Books, 2011) (ebook and paperback).Robert W. Hanning and also Joan M. Ferrante, trans., The Lais of Marie de France, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana college Press, 1995) (paperback).

Digitized manuscripts of the Lais

The just manuscript v the prologue and all twelve that the (known) lais:

There are four other manuscripts through one or much more lais (two through Marie’s collection of fables, recognized as the Ysopet (i.e. Aesop)):

London, british Library, noodle MS Vespasian B XIV: LanvalYsopet (not on-line).

Discussion questions for particular lais:


1. One means to recognize the building and construction of the lai is to study the case of the protagonist, Lanval. What is Lanval’s difficulty at the beginning of the lai ? in the middle ? in ~ the end?

2. What go the lai phone call us around Lanval (e.g. Descriptions by the narrator or by various other characters)? just how does the text present Lanval behaving? Does the behave choose his description? (Be maybe to point to facets in the message to safeguard your answer.)

3. Analysis the scene whereby Lanval meets the fée (fairy). Where does it occur? just how is the fée described? how does Lanval react? Etc.

4. Exactly how is the queen described/presented? (What is she doing in ~ the beginning of the episode? just how does she react when she watch him? just how does she interact with Lanval?)

5. What space the “stages” of Lanval’s trial? What precisely is that accused that doing? carry out you know any type of (famous) comparable stories?


A. Background:

1. Exactly how were marriages made decision in the Middle ages (for the wealthy)? Who made decision the husband/wife? with what criteria ? What kinds of results could you mean (for either spouse) under together a system?

B. You and the characters

1. Exactly how do you react to each of the characters? Is your reaction positive, negative, ambivalent? 

2. Because that each character, make a list of the qualities and actions that define your reaction.

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3. For each character, describe how the narrator characterizes lock (what expressions are used in the text). For whom does the narrator have sympathy? In other words, that does the narrator portray positively? negatively? try to distinguish between a reaction based on your ethical system, her ideas about what is best or correct, and how the story actually presents each of the characters.

C. Middle ages literature often uses icons to suggest feelings and also ideas (modern literature does too, that course). What symbolic value does each of the objects take it on in the lai?

1. The wall2. Springtime3. The nightingale’s song4. The bloodstain5. The “tiny vessal” (Shoaf) or “coffret” (Mason)

Power suggest of this talk

Downloadable PDF


Krause, Kathy. “The Lais of Marie de France,” Middle ages for Educators, April 10, 2020. Accessed. Https://