Marie especially referred to as Marie De France is an assembly of twelve poems authored around the 12th century. The central notion in the lyrics is love and courtliness, and particularly the protagonists are aristocratic ladies. In the narrations, Marie makes little efforts to present the message coherently all over the poems. Fundamentally every verse advances an issue of life and love using a different approach. In her work, she starts with a preface where she postulates her reason for writing and confesses her optimism that the work will impress her audience. This work will supply an elucidation of various themes captured by Marie in her poems opening with love.
The subject of love: this is the most prominent them in Marie’s writings. Her stories capture various views of love and romantic relationships including love between vassals and lords, extramarital affairs, and marriage. Besides, the author captures the aspect of love between children and their parents. Every lay takes into consideration how various types of love come with happiness like in Guigemar or how they result in sorrow like in Equitan. “Often a revered blossoming love is quashed by the external forces” (5) like in the case of Laustic whereas some forms of love are punishable like in the instance of” Bisclavret” this theme is prevalent in all poems and helps the reader to comprehend it further.
The subject of loyalty: similar to the theme of love, the topic of reliability assists Marie to explain different aspects she advances in the poems. Lapses in allegiance offer the central drive on several occasions as espoused on Equitan and Bisclavret. “The lords have the discretion to portray disloyalty to their vassals is shown all over the plot.” (6) Arthur’s disloyalty to Lanval is the best illustration or how Eliduc is compelled by his lord to desert his home because the lord thrives on slander. Eliduc is centered on loyalty notably because the theme offers insight into the central conflict as the main protagonists reveal.
The theme of possessiveness: this topic creates unhappy moments in lays especially the possessive nature of old men to their wives and fathers towards their daughters. The understanding that it is somewhat young women controlled by the patriarchal society advances some insight into Marie’s approach as a female. Further, “it shows why these beautiful women are so into males who offer the possibilities of escape.” (10) The sets which portray possessive fathers include Milun, Yonec, Guigemar, and Guigemar to some degree.
The aspect of fate: this theme is unique, particularly when capturing the issue of love. Marie never tries to say that individuals can prevent themselves from falling in love. Her language often emphasizes how love grows irrespective having different desires. “Marie talks of love as is if it is a force which knocks like fate.” (10) Nonetheless, Marie’s focus is how people respond to emotions and not how love forces influence their feelings. “The folks who can manage their emotions command respect” (11) like Eliduc or Tristam, but those who lack self-control deserve a harsh judgment.
The theme of selflessness or charity: according to Marie, altruism, and compassion based on love is the is the most significant gift. The last lay, Eliduc provide the best exemplification of this theme because all the love characters involved have committed their lives to God and charity work. Nonetheless, the most celebrated actors are those who offer pure love, without considering much about themselves. Le Fresne is another illustration of the theme of charity. However, these two are not the only ones, but the poems provide others.
The topic of Chivalry: the manner in which Marie adores the Chivalrous culture court of those days and criticizing it at the same time provides the highest achievement in the Lais. The quest for popularity and self-praise though works contrary to the theme of selflessness and charity which Marie values highly. “The search for fame and feminine works against people who truly love one another proves it difficult not to remain self-centered.” (14)
Storytelling virtue: all over the plot, Marie portrays her duty as a narrator, in some instances through self-glorifications and in other she applies authorial interruptions. Marie frequently interjects her narration either to advance the theme of a particular situation or occasionally she considers the contents of the story. The impact of these is to prove the effectiveness of the texts and in other instances to show playfulness. Besides, Marie glorifies herself as an excellent narrator from the prologue which potentially indicates historical relevance or possibly meant to emphasize that her work is beyond entertainment. She applies storytelling technique to advance some unalienable truths.
After going through Marie’s poems, it is prudent to notice how the author expertly advance the various themes espoused in the narration. She uses multiple literary techniques to develop the following subjects: love, loyalty, selflessness and charity, storytelling, Chivalry, fate, and possessiveness. The writer shows the readers that the theme of love is the most prominent as it features in all texts though advanced in different versions.