"The Relationship of King Mark and Tristan"
The romance of Tristan, developed by Beroul in the twelfth century, is an epic poem that has helped historians receive a further understanding of life in the 11th and 12th centuries.The poem explores many of the relationships that were prevalent in this time period.One relationship that is dealt with in this story is the bond between a lord and his vassal.This can be seen through the interactions of King Mark and Tristan.The Romance of Tristan shows that the bond between lord and vassal was very complicated, and it was a relationship formed out of trust and admiration, as well as self-interest.In this paper I will explore the common roles in society for a knight and a king, and I will show how Tristan and King Mark show similarities to what many believe is a normal lord-vassal relationship.I will make detail on how this single relationship would effect society as a whole, and note how this bond influences other people.Finally, I will explain how this traditional story is very helpful for historians to paint a picture on how life really was in the 11th and 12th centuries, and share my views on interpreting this poem.
"On the social and political levels, medieval men had to obey his superiors…He had to show loyalty to his authorities…The greatest social virtue required of medieval man was obedience, justified by religion." This helps form the groundwork for the traditional knight/lord relationship.A lord was a knight's superior, and is expected to be respected by his knight at all times due to this reason.The common knight would take this into account in the 11th and 12th centuries, but if he had the strength or desire to fulfill his own personal needs, he would take the opportunity to do so.It seems to me that there was always a certain level of trust that had to be measured during this time."Each party owed something to the oth…