Sunday, September 7, 2014

Response to Kelsey's post

I couldn’t agree more that Chretien is being extremely sarcastic. The more I read, the more obvious it started to appear. In the beginning I was unsure about the story and thought it was a bit ridiculous, however as I continued I started to piece together his motives.

What I found to be Chretien’s most sarcastic moment was at the very end of the story when Erec becomes King and he receives the cloak. Like we said in class, receiving the cloak was a huge award as it stood for the knowledge of music, astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic. Bestowing this cloak to Erec seems in itself absurd, for the entire story elaborates on his lack of knowledge and wisdom, and his stubbornness. Though he completes this journey and defeats this evil part within himself, this internal struggle, I don't see his character making progress.

Chretien could potentially be using this story to make a mockery out of the entire time period and even the elements of the genre. Erec’s knightly quest, and his love for Enide I think are all so richly built behind sarcasm.


  1. I think Erec does make progress in the way that he appreciated Enide a little more in a different way besides just her beauty because eventfully he stops telling her to shut up during their time spent together. This doesn't necessarily make him all-knowing or deserving of the cloak of all cloaks by any means but like we said in class I don't think he's a total lost cause. I do agree with you on the idea that Chretien is mocking this genre and time period because Erec is meant to be the epitome of what it means to be a knight and to carry out the chivalric code. He's well respected and honored and everything a knight should be but he's sort of an idiot. By making him foolish AND loved by his society its very possible that Chretien is commenting on not only the knights of this time but also on the society that values them.

  2. I do agree that ironic commentary and possibly even light satire is a crucial component of this story. But I don't think that Chretien is merely being sarcastic. It's supposed to be a fun and witty story, but we have ample evidence that both Erec and Enide evolve as people through their trials, and it does have a very happy ending.