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

Ellen Thorington (Ball State University)
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Chrétien de Troyes’s poem, the

Knight of the Cart


Chevalier de la Charrette

), or


, 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 its height throughout the poem, and thanks to his sense of language and…

2193 words

Citation: Thorington, Ellen. "Lancelot, ou le Chevalier de la Charrette". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2011 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

13049 Lancelot, ou le Chevalier de la Charrette 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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