ANGLO SAXON TALES: TRISTAN AND ISEULT, BEOWULF, WUTHERING HEIGHTS
Tristan and Iseult
The legend of Tristan and Iseult is an influential romance and tragedy, retold in numerous sources with as many variations. The tragic story is of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Iseult (Isolde).

1. In Cornwall, King Mark reigned, always at his side his sister Blanchefleur. But Blanchefleur secretly fell in love with King Rivalin, and conceived his child as he lay wounded from war on his deathbed.


2. To spare her brother the disappointment, she fled to King Rivalin's castle and secretly gave birth to her son. She died, too, and named her son Tristan, since he was born through grief and sadness.


3. King Marke missed his sister, having no idea what happened to her. Years passed in grey loneliness.

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4. Meanwhile, Tristan grew into a formidable young man. So smart and handsome was he, that he got kidnapped by a group of tradesmen. But they felt Gods' wrath when they got into a terrible storm at sea. To soothe God's anger, they released Tristan in a small boat.

5. Without knowing it, Tristan had been washed ashore in Cornwall, where he impressed a few of King Mark's huntsmen and was introduced to Mark's court.


6.Soon he became the King's favorite. One day, as the Irish barbarian King Morolt came to blackmail Mark, Tristan dueled him and killed Morolt. However, he received a wound from Morolt's poisoned blade.
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7. Tristan fell sick and there seemed to be no hope for his life. He asked to be released on a small boat, to await his fate on the ocean. His beloved harp was the only thing he took with him.



8. But Tristan was lucky. The boat was carried over to Ireland, where fishermen found him through the sound of his harp. He was brought to Morolt's sister and she cured the poisoning. As he recovered, he shared his musical skills with young Iseult, Morolt's niece.
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9. Tristan returns home and Marke is so overjoyed that he plans to make him his heir. This angers some of the court, and Tristan advises Marke to marry and have a son. He thinks young Isolde would be perfect. Iseult's mother says yes and gives her daughter a love potion to share with Mark. But while traveling with Tristan, they accidentally drink it and fall in love.


10. Mark loves his young bride, not aware of what is going on. They marry.

 


11. Tristan and Iseult begin a dangerous love affair. Time and again do they have to make up lies and excuses.



12. Mark does not believe the rumours but reluctantly agrees to put the two to the test. He spreads flour around Isoldes bed and then leaves the chamber for a while. Tristan sees the flour, jumps across it into Iseult's arms. But when Mark checks the flour, he sees droplets of blood, coming from a wound on Tristan's leg that has opened from jumping.



13. Tristan is condemned to death and Iseult given to a group of lepers. But fortunately, Tristan escapes and rescues Iseult.



14. Together, they live happily in the forest for a while. One night, after a long discussion they sleep with Tristan's sword between them. It is then Mark finds them, believes the two not lovers and exchanges Tristan's sword with his, as a peace offer.

15.Tristan and Iseult understood and came back to court. Iseult decided to prove in front of God that she was innocent. Tristan dressed up as a beggar, and one her way to the site of the "test" she pretended to trip and land in his arms by accident.
In front of Mark's people, she finally announced that she has never laid in anyone's arms but Mark's - and that poor beggar, by accident of course. Then she picked up an iron rod from a fire and carried it with her hands for everyone to see. And because she had spoken the truth, the iron did not hurt her.

16. However, the glory days were over. They both decide it's best to not see each other again.

 




17. Tristan went on to join the knights of the round table, living through all sorts of adventure, while Isolde tries to make do with her husband.

 

 

 

 

 

18. One day, Tristan met another girl, also called Iseult. She was the sister of one of his friends Kaedin. He decided to marry her, trying to overcome his desire for the real Iseult. Soon after, Tristan helped Kaedin meet his secret lover and was reminded of his sweet days with Iseult la blonde. But they got caught, Kaedin died and Tristan was lethally wounded. On his deathbed, he asked to have the real Iseult visit him one final time. A ship was sent, and if it came back with white sails, she would be on it. If the sails would be black, it would mean she would not be there. Again and again he asked his wife if she saw the ship coming yet. Poor thing was sad and jealous. When the ship finally came, it had white sails. Iseult had finally revealed to Mark the truth about the potion, and he regretted everything. He was to let them have each other. But as Tristan asked his wife about the color of the sails, her jealousy took over and she said "black".


19. That moment, he died. Iseult raced up to his bed the second the boat arrived, to take one last look. She threw herself on the bed, kissed him, and died, too.

~The END~

 

 

Beowulf
In this poem from the 8th century, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle.


1. Beowulf, Hero of the Geats



2. Beowulf arrives at the kingdom of King Hrodgar. A guard asks the reason for his visit. Beowulf tells him he came to free the Danes of Grendel.

3. Grendel has been wreaking havoc in Hrodgar's mead hall several times, whenever the warriors feast and sing loudly.

4. Beowulf defeats Grendel and rips his arm off. The dying monster escapes back to its lair, where his mother swears revenge.


5. Grendel is her only child, and so the monstrous witch awaits Beowulf, who has set out to look for the mother and confirm Grendel's death.


6. Grendels mother, who lives in a cavern under the sea, grabs Beowulf and brings him to her home, where they fight fiercely until Beowulf finally kills her.


Fifty years later, a thief steals a golden cup from a dragon's lair, awakening the dragon and killing everything within its reach. Beowulf faces his final battle. He slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded. Good night Beowulf, Sometime King of the Geats!
 
Wuthering Heights
"I am Heathcliff!"

And I pray one prayer - I repeat it till my tongue stiffens - Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you - haunt me, then!

I’ll tell you what I did yesterday! I got the sexton, who was digging Linton’s grave, to remove the earth off her coffin lid, and I opened it. I thought, once, I would have stayed there: when I saw her face again - it is hers yet!

Indeed, I shouldn’t have discovered that he had been there, except for the disarrangement of the drapery about the corpse’s face, and for observing on the floor a curl of light hair, fastened with a silver thread; which, on examination, I ascertained to have been taken from a locket hung round Catherine’s neck. Heathcliff had opened the trinket and cast out its contents, replacing them by a black lock of his own.

I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in - let me in!’ ‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself.