Yejung Choi, Sir Launfal : A Portrait of a Knight in Fourteenth Century England. pp. 1~28 (28 pages)


The purpose of this study is to relate Sir Launfal to fourteenth century England and to explore the contemporary re-conceptualization of a knight presented in the poem. My argument is that Sir Launfal is a portrait of a knight, not ensconced in the idealized setting as in Marie de France’s poem, but frequently found among fourteenth century English nobility. Appropriating inherited literary materials and stock motifs of the genre, Chestre demystifies the ideal of knighthood, de-idealizes romantic love and discloses the cohesiveness of wealth and knighthood, mainly through his own insertions of episodes that serve to widen the prospect of the poem from an individual knight to the society in which he is entwined in the social networks and the value system shared by its members. “Materialistic” or “bourgeois” features found in the poem and criticized so far are symptomatic or reflective of the state of affairs in Chestre’s age, such as the sumptuary laws, visual display culture of the nobility, inheritance of lands through heiresses, and a series of redistribution of estates from 1327 to 1337. In conclusion, Sir Launfal is not a deplorable degradation of Lanval, nor should it be evaluated by the standard which sets the twelfth century French romances as a model. Rather, it should be viewed as a poem born in fourteenth-century England—brimming with social, political and social changes within and without the court—intended to depict a knight of this age. 
 저자 키워드  Key words
 Chestre, Marie de France, Sir Launfal, Lanval, knight, fourteenth century, romance, nobility