Copyright Dr. L.
Kip Wheeler 1998-2013. Permission is granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. Last updated March 6, 2013. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Please
e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this
site. Click here
for credits, thanks,
and additional copyright information.
362 Study Questions: Marie De France,
lai, Norman, Norman conquest, Breton courtly love, fairy
tale, wish fulfillment, H-manuscript, geis, folklore motif,
octosyllabic couplets, fin amour, feudalism, courtly love,
knight, chivalry, rash boon
Identifications: Bisclavret, Bisclavret's
wife, the King of Brittany, the noseless daughters
- What, according to Marie, is the Norman title for the
Breton lai, "Bisclavret"?
- What disturbs Bisclavret's wife about her husband's
behavior each week? (I.e., what does her husband do that
arouses her suspicions?)
- What secret has Bisclavret been hiding from his wife?
Why has he been afraid to tell her?
- What will happen to Bisclavret if he loses his human
clothes while he is in wolf-shape?
- Where does Bisclavret hide his clothes?
- What does Bisclavret's wife offer to a neighboring
knight that she had refused him previously?
- A year passes, and then Bisclavret ends up being hunted
in the forest. How does he avoid being torn apart by the
- How does Bisclavret behave when the knight who is his
wife's lover shows up at the king's court?
- What does Bisclavret do to his wife when she appears
- How does the King of Brittany extract the truth from
the false knight and Bisclavret's unfaithful wife?
- Why does Bisclavret hesitate to turn back into human
shape--and what change in location allows him to transform
peacefully? What does this hesitancy reveal about Bisclavret
and what he has learned?
- What happens to later generations of the unfaithful
wife? (I.e., what unusual birth mark or deformity do they
A: "Lady," he said, "beside
the wood, near the path I follow, stands an old chapel
often serves me well. There beneath a bush is a broad stone,
hollowed out in the centre, in which I put my clothes
I return home." The lady heard this remarkable revelation
and her face became flushed with fear. She was greatly
by the story, and began to consider various means of parting
from him, as she no longer wished to lie with him.
B: No one could restrain him. He dashed
towards her like a madman. Just hear how successfully he
took his revenge. He tore the nose right off her face. What
worse punishment could he have inflicted on her?
C: Lord, you are not acting properly:
nothing could induce him to put on his clothing in front
of you or change his animal form. You do not realize the
importance of this; it is most humiliating for him. Take
him into your bedchamber and bring him the clothes.
D: Many women in that family, I tell you
truly, were born without noses and lived noseless.