Chretien de Troyes: Lancelot, ou le Chevalier de la Charrette [Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart]

(2193 words)
  • Ellen Thorington (Ball State University )

Chrétien de Troyes’s poem, the Knight of the Cart (Chevalier de la Charrette), or Lancelot, is a late twelfth-century romance, a chivalric tale of love and adventure written in the vernacular (i.e., not in Latin). Composed in Old French in octosyllabic rhyming couplets, the poem is generally dated to 1177-1181. Since its composition, this narrative poem has served as a centrepiece to Arthurian legend, as this is the first extant Arthurian text to reveal a love relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere. It is, in its essence, the tale of the kidnapping of Guinevere and her rescue by Lancelot. Yet the importance of this text is not limited to its central role in Arthurian literature: Chrétien’s artistry is at i…

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Thorington, Ellen. "Lancelot, ou le Chevalier de la Charrette". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2011
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Arthurian Literature