Tristan Plot Outline

The plot outline and the main characters in Gottfried's Tristan in the narrative sequence
 

  • Rivalin¬† Canelengres, lord of Parmenie vs. Duke Morgan, his overloard
  • Feudal conflict with Morgan (justified? just war? is any war just?)
  • Rivalin and King Mark of Cornwall at the glorious court
  • Mark and his sister Blancheflor
  • Rivalin's and Blancheflor's offspring: Tristan
  • Rivalin's marshal: Rual li Foitenant, Tristan's foster father
  • Tristan and the Norwegian merchants (falcons and the chess board)
  • Tristan as a new messiah?
  • Tristan and the pilgrims
  • Tristan and King Mark's huntsmen
  • Tristan and King Mark's courtiers
  • Tristan as musician
  • Tristan as polyglot
  • Tristan's loss of his alleged father, Rual
  • Tristan learns of his real father's death
  • Tristan gains a new father in his uncle, King Mark
  • Mark basically entrusts Cornwall to Tristan
  • Tristan returns to Parmenie and murders Morgan: Accusation of being a bastard, and Tristan's precarious existence
  • Tristan fights against Morold
  • Tristan's wound - another time that a wound symbolizes something most powerful
  • Tristan as Tantris, perhaps the seeming return of Christ to Ireland (p. 142: reference to 40 days and 40 nights)
  • Tristan as Isolde's teacher
  • Tristan's fortune at King Mark's court changes; he needs to secure Isolde's hand for King Mark
  • Fight against the Dragon and against the Irish Seneschall (note the use of the tongue)
  • The Splinter: Isolde demonstrates her decoding skills
  • The Proof and the Love Potion
  • Isolde's hatred changes to love (p. 199)
  • The discourse on the nature of love
  • Isolde's plot to have Brangaene killed (again the symbolism of the tongue)
  • Gandin from Ireland: the game of language. Tristan triumphs
  • Marjodoc discovers the first traces; the signs turn against the lovers
  • Battle of the wits, Mark vs. Isolde and her helpers
  • Melot and the garden scene: deciphering the signs in the shadow
  • The Ordeal: Isolde speaks the language of her heart, and God listens
  • Petitcreiu: Tristan begins to confuse the signs again, and so the essence of love
  • Banishment and the Cave of Love
  • Mark discovers the lovers, and misreads the signs
  • Tristan departs, Isolde's sorrowful monologue, she has joined the community of the true hearts
  • Tristan and Isolde Whitehand: again, signs and language of love confuse everyone