Tristan's madness

Tristan's madness

Thomas of Britain, and anon.

13th century

England

Manuscript

This manuscript contains the longest surviving fragment of a brilliant Anglo-Norman poem, Tristan (c.1160), by Thomas of Britain, and the only copy of the Folie Tristan d’Oxford (The Oxford Madness of Tristan). In the latter, Tristan enters court disguised as a madman, apparently raving to King Mark about his affair with Mark’s wife Isolde. Later, even after Tristan’s dog recognizes him and runs up to lick him, Isolde refuses to believe that it is really him until he speaks in his true voice. The poem touches deeply on themes of identity, dangerous speech and loyalty to lovers and lords.

Comments

A Tristan tile from Chertsey Abbey
A Tristan tile from Chertsey Abbey
A lover's gift
A lover's gift
Tristan's madness
Tristan's madness
Tristan the musician
Tristan the musician
Two meaningful rings
Two meaningful rings
Dante imagines the dangers of romance
Dante imagines the dangers of romance