Monday, April 15, 2013

A-Z: L & M for "Man of Law" Tale in Canterbury Tales

I've made it to week three of the A-Z Challenge.  Wahoo!  Today, I'm doing a combo post for "L" and "M" for the "Man of Law's" tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  This tale was a long one with many twists and turns so...bear with me.
In short, the Man of Law was a Lawyer back then.  His tale is an epic one about religion and romance involving a Sultan, a Roman Princesses, a Pagan King and this list goes on and on. This was probably my favorite tale to date because I found it to be a page turner.  It's been centuries and religion continues to be the crux of many dramatic debates.  The tale begins with once again a fair maiden, Lady Constance.  She is a Roman princess who practices Christianity and is said to be so beautiful, humble and virtuous.  A Sultan living in a land far away learns of Constance and decides she must be his wife but with their different religions that potential union is deemed unlikely. The Sultan ends up converting and negotiates for Constance's hand. The Roman Emperor accepts and sends his daughter but the union infuriates the Sultan's mother and she devises a diabolical plan to kill her son for his religious betrayal.  She slaughters her son and Lady Constance's entourage but spares Constance, sending her off to sail on a ship by herself.  And so Constance sails for three years.  

Constance lands on another land, a Pagan one, where she befriends a castle warden and his wife.  To shorten this tale, Lady Constance's becomes legendary once again for her kindness, faith and beauty and that bails her out some sticky situations.  She earns the favor of the King Alla who marries her and then while he leaves to fight a war she gives birth to their son and heir, Maurice.  This tale has yet another mother-in-law conniving to destroy her son's happiness.  King Alla's malicious mother hates Lady Constance and forges a letter from her son, commanding his solders to banish Constance and Maurice (her grandson) -- to depart on the same ship she came in on.  *sigh*

Constance leaves with her son where they sail for five years until she is found by a Roman ship.  She lives in Rome, hiding away and living with her son at a Senator's house briefly until her husband, King Alla visits Rome and sees his son, Maurice.  He instantly recognizes something familiar.  Yeah, that part was awesome.  Lady Constance and her husband finally reunite in Line 945, "I think a hundred times they must have kissed."  I'll say that was a joyous reunion after all the tragedy that befall our heroine.  Like I was a page turner.

That's my "L" and "M" post for A-Z.  What do you remember about this tale?  

Mina B.


Dani said...

Sounds so romantic - well besides the whole evil-mother-in-law thing.
Dani @ Entertaining Interests

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At least it had a happy ending.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I love the line about a thousand kisses. It's so sweet.

Teresa Coltrin said...

A thousand kisses is nothing to sneeze at.

Great post.

Sandy Campbell said...

Outstanding!! Best wishes with your writing!! Loved.

Karen Tamara said...

Gotta love a happy ending, especially when it is such a challenge to get there!

Cynthia said...

Yay for sweet reunions, and yay to you for being in the 3rd week of A to Z!

Elise Fallson said...

All the great stories begin with a fair maiden . . . (:

Mark Means said...

What did lawyers chase back then, if there were no ambulances?

Carts? :)

Left and Write

Jocelyn Rish said...

Poor Constance. All that time on a ship must have been pretty miserable. All these evil mothers destroying their sons' happiness must have been the inspiration for Norma Bates - the mother of Norman over on the show Bates Motel. She's a truly creepy lady.