Tristan Themes

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The Best Loves Allow for Pain

Gottfried makes a deliberate point, both in his prologue and in the telling of both of his book's love stories, to point out that part of the glory of these loves was the willingness of its participants to love on even through painful circumstances. For Rivalin and Blancheflor, their pain began with their longing for each other, and then continued as Blancheflor agonized through the uncertainty of Rivalin's survival of his battle-wounds, her leaving her homeland in disguise to be with him, enduring his ultimate death in battle, and finally dying in childbirth. None of these things deterred the lovers from each other, nor made Gottfried question their wisdom in pursuing their love. Likewise, even though Tristan and Isolde love one another involuntarily and as the result of chemistry or magic or both, Gottfried represents them as the most noble of lovers, even...

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This section contains 1,083 words
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Buy the Tristan Study Guide
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