ROMANCE AND REALISM
An interest in the psychological elements of a story is frequently accompanied in medieval romance by a neglect of its adventurous aspect; and Malory's disregard of the latter, the chief motive of the roman d'aventure, is largely due to his concentration on the former.1
A most cursory glance at his alterations and additions will prove this. His original traces the love of Tristan and Iseult to a purely 'adventurous' cause: it is only because he sees Palomides in love with Iseult that Tristan decides to supplant his friend.2 Malory rejects this version. In the Morte Darthur Tristan's passion has a spontaneous origin, and his envy of Palomides is not the cause but the effect of his love. He 'cast grete love to la beale Isoud' because 'she was the fairest mayde and lady of the worlde'. Tristan teaches her to play the harp, and she begins 'to have grete fantasye unto hym'.3 While in the French source their parting is not even mentioned,4 in Malory Iseult makes 'grete dole and lamentacion', and says: '"O____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Malory. Contributors: Eugène Vinaver - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1929. Page number: 43.