Places: Erec and Enide

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First transcribed: Erec et Enide, c. 1164 (English translation, 1913)

Type of work: Poetry

Type of plot: Arthurian romance

Time of work: Sixth century

Asterisk denotes entries on real places.

Places Discussed*Cardigan

*Cardigan. Erec and EnideKing Arthur’s castle, which not only represents the splendor and honor that is so much a part of his legendary reign and of Chrétien’s romances, but also the actual setting in Wales that exists at the present time. It signifies tradition and celebration. In addition, it is where the tale opens and the legendary white stag hunt custom is to begin. Erec and Enide are married there as well.


*Edinburgh. Another real locale in Scotland that is the perfect blend of modern and medieval aspects; it is a place of rich diversity and culture, as well as the place where the tournament is held and Erec is declared the victor of all attending knights.


Wilderness. This location seems deep and unknowable, just like the experiences that Erec and Enide face here.


*Nantes (nant). Port in Brittany, across the English Channel from Great Britain. Erec and Enide are crowned king and queen there on Christmas Day.

BibliographyBuckbee, Edward J. “Erec et Enide.” In The Romances of Chrétien de Troyes: A Symposium, edited by Douglas Kelly. Lexington, Ky.: French Forum, 1985. Buckbee argues that Erec and Enide are a perfect couple who fit the ideal of Arthur’s elite society of knights and ladies, but he also notes that the characterization is ambiguous because Chrétien does not state their motives clearly.Frappier, Jean. “Chrétien de Troyes.” In Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, edited by R. S. Loomis. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1959. Provides a good overview of Chrétien’s work and deals primarily with his sources. An admirable starting point for new readers.Loomis, Roger Sherman. Arthurian Tradition and Chrétien de Troyes. New York: Columbia University Press, 1949. Loomis shows how most episodes in Chrétien’s romances have their parallels in other Irish, Welsh, and Breton stories. Some of Loomis’ work has been questioned, but he remains an acknowledged authority in the field.Luttrell, Claude. The Creation of the First Arthurian Romance: A Quest. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1974. A study specifically of Erec and Enide, which focuses on Chrétien’s sources and the meaning as revealed by the poem’s structure. Also discusses romances that resemble Erec and Enide.Noble, Peter S. Love and Marriage in Chrétien de Troyes. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1982. Examines the theme of love and marriage in all of Chrétien’s romances. Concludes that Erec and Enide is a celebration of married rather than unmarried or pre-marital “courtly love.”
Categories: Places