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Lais Of Marie De France Essay, Research Paper

Throughout the Lais of Marie de France there are several themes presented as central to the various stories. Some of these themes are present in all of the lais. One such example is that of courtly love and it s implications. Courtly love being one of the more prominent themes in all of medieval literature, it is fittingly manifested in all of the lais as well. Another theme present in two of the lais is isolation. The theme of isolation plays a large role in the stories of Guigemar and Lanval. In each of these lais we see isolation as a factor in determining the fates of the central figures. Within each lai isolation is represented on several different occasions, each time having a direct impact on the outcome. These instances of isolation may be seen at times to be similar in nature and consequence, and different at other times. By sifting through both works these instances may be extrapolated and analyzed.

In general, isolation seems to be harmful to both of the heroes. One very good example of this is toward the beginning of Guigemar s tale. They gathered in pursuit of a large stag and the hounds were released. The hunters ran in front and the young man lingered behind. (p.44) It is only when Guigemar is alone that he sees the mysterious doe with the antlers of a stag and a fawn. This creature also serves as a signpost telling us that Guigemar has crossed over from this world into the realm of Fairy and magic. It is this encounter with the animal that wounds Guigemar with an injury only love can heal. Directly after this we see another, more ironic example of isolation. Because he has been wounded Guigemar wants the aid of his friends. My friend, ride quickly and bring my companions back, for I should like to speak to them. (P.45) By ordering his servant to go and fetch help Guigemar found himself alone again. The young man rode off and Guigemar remained behind, lamenting his suffering. He bound his wound firmly and tightly with his shirt, then mounted his horse and departed. (p.45) Here we also see an example of foreshadowing. Guigemar uses his shirt to bind his wound, while later in the story the woman who is to cure him of his wound will untie a knot in another shirt of his, thus proving herself to be his true love. It is this love wound that overcomes Guigemar and forces him away. He is unable to remain and wait for his companions. He feels uncontrollably drawn to seek out his fate. He was keen to get away, for he did not want any of his followers to come and hinder him, or attempt to detain him. (p.45)

The isolation theme is continued as Guigemar travels alone to a harbor, in which is a ship. The ship is described as being majestic in its beauty, which keeps with the crossing over into the world of magic, signified by the hind responsible for Guigemar s wound. There was no peg or deck-rail which was not made of ebony. No gold on earth was worth more and the sail was made entirely of silk, very beautiful when unfurled. (p.45) Upon boarding the ship Guigemar became aware of the fact that it was empty. He rode forward, dismounted and in great pain climbed aboard expecting to find men in charge. But the ship was deserted and he saw no one. (p.45) Not only does the mysteriousness of the deserted ship keep with the isolation of the other world it also represents isolation itself as another immediate factor. It was the isolation of this magic ship that led Guigemar to his love.

It is interesting to note that isolation is present also in Guigemar s love s situation before he arrives for her. Her jealous husband took the task of guarding her so seriously that he had her imprisoned in her own home. There was only a single point of entry, guarded day and night. The sea enclosed it on the other side, so it was impossible to get in or out, except by boat, should the need arise in the castle. As a secure place for his wife, the lord had constructed within the enclosure a chamber of incomparable beauty, at the entrance of which stood a chapel….In this room the lady was imprisoned. (p.46) The relationship between isolation and magical beauty is continued here as well. The prison is described as being of incomparable beauty and being decorated with poetic images. The walls of the chamber were covered in paintings in which Venus, the goddess of love, was skillfully depicted together with the nature and obligations of love; how it should be served with loyalty and good service. (p.46) The lady was indeed alone, isolated from all except for her servant and the lord, upon his command. No one, man or woman, could have gained access to this spot, or escaped from this walled enclosure. (p.46) Thus far Guigemar s isolation as well as the lady s isolation may be seen as vehicles for their introduction to one another.

In the lai of Guigemar we are presented with isolation as a physical removal from others. Whether it be Guigemar alone in the woods or the lady alone in her prison home, the isolation is always physical and forced, even if it be a force of magic such as the curse of the magical animal on Guigemar which draws him to the magic ship. In the case of Lanval this is often times not the case. With Lanval we often see isolation as a more psychological event. In the story s opening we see Lanval as being isolated from the very court and king he serves. He apportioned wives and lands to all, save to one who had served him: this was Lanval, whom he did not remember, and for whom no one put in a good word. (p.73) Immediately we see isolation as alienation. There is no forced removal from an environment, but rather a removal from the hearts and minds of the other members of the court, most importantly that of the king s. It should be noted though that physical isolation is touched upon briefly when it is mentioned that Lanval was born of another lord in another land. He was the son of a king of noble birth, but far from his inheritance… (p.73)

Even though the alienation experienced by Lanval is not a physical removal from his peers, it is indeed forced. Because the other knights are jealous of him they actively ignore him. Because of his valour, generosity, beauty and prowess, many were envious of him. (p.73) Lanval was made to feel distraught by this isolated environment within which he found himself. Ironically, in an attempt to take his ease he rode out of the town alone. He left the town and came alone to a meadow, dismounting by a stream; but there his horse trembled violently, so he loosened its saddlegirth and left it, allowing it to enter the meadow to roll over on its back. (p.73) It is amidst this isolation that events begin to occur to him, remembering of course that it was an earlier isolation that brought this instance. It is here that Lanval meets two beautiful women that lead away even farther to meet his love.

Lanval s love was one of great beauty, described as the most exotic in the land. Inside the tent was the maiden who surpassed in beauty the lilly and the new rose when it appears in summer. (p.74) Within the isolation of the extravagant tent the maiden was lying in, it was revealed to him that he must never reveal the secret of their love to anyone. The consequence for this was their never being able to see each other again. Beloved, she said, I admonish, order, and beg you not to reveal this secret to anyone! I shall tell you the long and the short of it: you would lose me forever if this love were to become known. You would never be able to see me or possess me. (p.75) An interesting situation develops because of the nature of his relationship with the maiden. As long as Lanval keeps the love a secret from all persons he will always be furnished with great wealth and clothing. So it is the isolation of the relationship from others that allows him to become close to others for the first time. This is because he is now able to bring any and all people into his home that need shelter and offer them the greatest hospitality, as well as perform other gracious deeds. That night he offered lavish hospitality but no one knew how this came to be. There was no knight in the town in sore need of shelter whom he did not summon and serve richly and well. Lanval gave costly gifts, Lanval freed prisoners, Lanval clothed the jongleurs, Lanval performed many honerable acts. There was no one, stranger or friend, to whom he would not have given gifts. (p.75) The other knights also took notice of Lanval s generosity and welcomed him into their arms. Gawain, the noble and the worthy, who endeared himself to all, said: In god s name, lords, we treat our companion Lanval ill, for he is so generous and courtly, and his father is a rich king, yet we have not brought him with us. (p.75)

When Lanval goes to the garden in the company of the other knights, upon their request, we see a continuation of the theme of psychological isolation. Lanval retreats to an isolated corner of the garden to be by himself. Upon doing so he is approached by another woman while alone. Lanval withdrew to one side, far from the others, for he was impatient to hold his beloved, to kiss, embrace and touch her. He cared little for other people s joy when he could not have his own pleasure. When the queen saw the knight alone, she approached him straightaway. (p.76) It again is isolation as a necessary ingredient to a plot mixed perfectly.

Lanval, unable to keep the secret of his love, is forced to defend himself in court against the accusations of the queen. Although unable to prove his own innocence, it is his love that ultimately does this. The maiden rides through the town and into court, proving his innocence for him. Upon his release leaves court with his love. He went with her to Avalon, so the Bretons tell us, to a very beautiful island. (p.81) Needless to say, the two of them went alone.

There are certain similarities between these two lais with respect to the theme of isolation. For instance, Guigemar must go off alone to the other, magical world to find his love so that he may eventually return and restore order to his life. On the other hand, Lanval, upon finding his love and eventually restoring order to his own life, leaves with her to the other, magical world of Avalon. It is there that they remain together on an island alone. Throughout the two lais isolation proved to be able to manifest itself in slightly different ways, primarily physical removal as opposed to psychological alienation. Although indeed a bit different in the exactness of their nature, both are undoubtedly linked in their ability to facilitate wondrous happenings in a world where isolation breeds magical events powerful enough to dramatically alter lives.

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My Lai Massacre Essay Research Paper

My Lai Massacre Essay Research Paper

My Lai Massacre Essay, Research Paper

“My family was eating breakfast when the Americans came, nothing was said to us, no explanation was given,” This is what a man named Do Chuc reported to Time Magazine. He claimed to have lost a daughter and a son in the incident that occured in a small village of Vietnam in 1968.

The My Lai Massacre is an event that will be forever imprinted on our hearts. The stories of those who survived, and those who are gone. Many things have been written about My Lai, but not all of them are true. So many things were transposed that the facts are hard to find. I feel that I have done a careful job of weeding the true from the false. When one hears about My Lai, they must remember what happened, and the heinous cover-up of these events. All these findings will raise the biggest question of all, why is it important for us to know? In this study of the My Lai Massacre I intend to answer all these elements here mentioned.

The attack came without warning on March 16, 1968 at 0725 hours. The orders were simple, the US Army companies A, B, and C were to burn houses, kill livestock, destroy food stocks and perhaps even close wells. The soldiers were lead to assume that only the enemy would be there, that all the civilians would be gone by 0700 hours. They were also told that everyone in the village would be VC’s (Viet Cong) or VC sympathizers. This information was recorded in the Army’s summary report, edited by Joseph Goldstien (35). The Lieutenant Commander?s orders were embellished and replaced with revenge and rage.

Two platoons of soldiers swept over the village, killing the livestock and murdering the first 7-12 women and children. The GI’s didn’t care if the person was old or young, male or female, to them they were all VC. The highest death toll was of old men, women, and children. Even before they reached My Lai the soldiers gunned down fleeing civilians in the rice paddies. The company of 60-70 US men entered My Lai and destroyed houses, livestock, and all inhabitants they could find in less than 20 minutes.

No other resistance was encountered.

Some villagers were herded into ditches where they were shot. Still other groups were taken to a southern trail and shot there. Members of the 2nd Platoon killed at least sixty to seventy Vietnamese men, women, and children. The 2nd platoon also committed several rapes of the women. Military photographers recorded graphic images of bodies dumped in ditches. Many of these photos were given to Time Magazine and published. (Time 1) A group of about 70-80 Vietnamese were killed in a mass execution in the same fashion.

Orders were given during the morning to stop the mass killings. The 2nd platoon stopped at 0920 hours, but the 1st platoon didn’t stop until 1030 hours when the orders were repeated. There were only twenty-five or so Vietnamese survivors who excaped by hiding under the bodies of their neighbors and relatives. This was not an isolated incident however, while the massacre at My Lai was taking place there was a similar mission of nearby My Khe of a lesser magnitude. The death toll in My Khe was over 90 women and children, but far less than the estimated tolls of My Lai. The estimates of My Lai deaths of non combatants ranges from 175-450+. Only one US soldier was killed in action, and seven were wounded in action due to the numerous land mines.

My Lai and My Khe are both small hamlets of Son My, an area in Vietnam just east of Cambodia. This is one of the most brutal reports of an attack on a civilian village during the Vietnam war.

When one hears about all the horrorousities that occured, it brings one’s self to wonder; What was going on over there? What was going through the minds of these people? What atrousities did they see to drive them to this type of brutal attack? We are of course assuming that no one in the right mind would murder large groups of innocent people in that day in age, especially from the United States.

In March of 1969, a year after the attack, Richard Ridenhour, then 23, a former SF4, sent information he had pieced together in 30 letters to the president, congressmen, and other Washington officials. He was not involved in My Lai, nor a witness. He heard about it from friends and was deeply disturbed by the events he heard. At first he didn?t believe, but he soon realized they were true; do the the similarities of people’s stories

The letters written by Richard Ridennhour led to the investigation of the platoons in action on March 16. The investigation was suspiciously barren. The Army recorded that there was an almost total absence of files and records of documents relating to the Son My incident and its subsequent investigation. (Goldstien 313) The files had been purged of most all legal documents and records. They had been either removed or destroyed, but not maintained. An exception to the missing files was COL. Henderson?s April 24 report, which was found in another indiscriminate file. These findings led to the accusations of: Failure to report all civilian killings (Stated at 20-28,

reality 400-500). Failure to report all acts of murder and other war crimes. False report of noncombatant casualties. Failure to report distruction of private property. Withholding and suppression of knowledge and evidence of war crimes by information office personnel. The troops were accused of failure to report complete facts, report alleged war crimes and not taking appropriate action when convinced a cover up was taking place.

No one had reported the crime. Things just went on as they had before. The only thing that was recorded was that officers would report to higher officials how many VC killed and who they were. They stopped reporting illegally at 8:40 am. The final report was that 38 VC were killed. This was not true. Only 3 or 4 were confirmed Viet Cong. There were however probably several unarmed VC men, women, and children, or those who were VC sympathizers.

One reason that the attack on My Khe remained buried for so long was that there were only 10 men involved at the massacre. Two were dead, and the others refused to testify. There were instructions given by CPT Medina not to discuss or report the operation of March 16.

Of the soldiers charged, only Lt. William Calley was convicted by court-martial. These led to formal charges of murdering approximately 100 civilians at My Lai. Considerable public sympathy surprisingly developed for Calley, many thought that he had “taken the rap” for his men. Others thought that it was war, and in war innocent people die, and that Calley was only doing his job. On March 29, 1971, Calley was found guilty of the slaying of at least 22 Vietnamese Civilians. On April 1, 1971, Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment. The options were this or death. He was ordered “To be confined at hard labor for the length of your natural life, to be dismissed from the Army and forfeiture of all pay, and allowances here of” (NY Times).

After all is said and done, one wonders; Now that I know what happened and the results of it, but why? What would lead a person to do this kind of thing? Surely not any law abiding citizen, and especially not an army officer in his/her right mind would ever do a thing like this. One question that we may never know is what was going through the minds of the soldiers at that time.

James Armstrong Ph.D. once said, ” They say we were there to defend the Vietnamese civilian, yet of all the persons involved, they were undoubtedly the primary casual, the primary victim of the war.” (Armstrong 133).

I feel this statement is so true. It really expresses the truth that I have not been able to put into words before. The main victims of Vietnam were not the soldiers who went off to war and not always those who even gave their lives, but perhaps the victims were the poor Vietnamese farmer who defends a dying cow with a pitchfork.

In order to confront the events of My Lai, we must report the happenings very accurately. We must learn from out mistakes, not repeat them (Armstrong)

In regard to the battle of communism and capitalism during the 50?s and 60?s, a Vietnamese native said, “The French respected out traditions,” (Armstrong 132). The war destroyed their traditions almost completely. My Lai came to symbolize the brutality of a war waged by an advanced technological power against a largely agricultural people.

Professor Morgenthau uses the analogy of, “What has been sane becomes psychotic, and what has been psychotic becomes sane,” (Armstrong 110).

Armstrong is convinced that the leaders of the world are bound and confused by the communist depravity (Armstrong 105). Meaning, it?s hard for them to change their old ways. Hard to have to admit that they were wrong and be a hypocrite. Armstrong also feels that to diffuse the rage of seeing their friends killed in Vietnam, the GI?s felt the need to find an enemy who would stand still and take the beating, such as women, old men, and even babies (Armstrong 106).

The troops held racism against the Vietnamese in the general category of Oriental, that they were inferior and not used to a civilized government. The American troops were caught in an Asian revolution and are confused by their inability to distinguish the enemy from the people (Armstrong 105).

Another theory is that the anger of the troops at those friends not fighting turns into racist perceptions of the Vietnamese as non people, inanimate objects that are expendable. This is also due to our (US) government?s compensation for our “blindness”, which conveys to the GI that Vietnamese are a dime a dozen. Not until we realize and firmly establish the motive behind the killings can we be sure that a similar event will not happen.

All of these things are horrable and most injust. It?s hard to believe that something like this could happen involving our country. All that we usually hear about is the white gloved surgical attacks, but they are not always that way. The violent nature of our soldiers under stress and pressure, the botch job on a cover up and yet the starteling question still is: Will it happen again?

Реферат: Lais Of Marie De France Essay Research

Lais Of Marie De France Essay, Research Paper

Throughout the Lais of Marie de France there are several themes presented as central to the various stories. Some of these themes are present in all of the lais. One such example is that of courtly love and it s implications. Courtly love being one of the more prominent themes in all of medieval literature, it is fittingly manifested in all of the lais as well. Another theme present in two of the lais is isolation. The theme of isolation plays a large role in the stories of Guigemar and Lanval. In each of these lais we see isolation as a factor in determining the fates of the central figures. Within each lai isolation is represented on several different occasions, each time having a direct impact on the outcome. These instances of isolation may be seen at times to be similar in nature and consequence, and different at other times. By sifting through both works these instances may be extrapolated and analyzed.

In general, isolation seems to be harmful to both of the heroes. One very good example of this is toward the beginning of Guigemar s tale. They gathered in pursuit of a large stag and the hounds were released. The hunters ran in front and the young man lingered behind. (p.44) It is only when Guigemar is alone that he sees the mysterious doe with the antlers of a stag and a fawn. This creature also serves as a signpost telling us that Guigemar has crossed over from this world into the realm of Fairy and magic. It is this encounter with the animal that wounds Guigemar with an injury only love can heal. Directly after this we see another, more ironic example of isolation. Because he has been wounded Guigemar wants the aid of his friends. My friend, ride quickly and bring my companions back, for I should like to speak to them. (P.45) By ordering his servant to go and fetch help Guigemar found himself alone again. The young man rode off and Guigemar remained behind, lamenting his suffering. He bound his wound firmly and tightly with his shirt, then mounted his horse and departed. (p.45) Here we also see an example of foreshadowing. Guigemar uses his shirt to bind his wound, while later in the story the woman who is to cure him of his wound will untie a knot in another shirt of his, thus proving herself to be his true love. It is this love wound that overcomes Guigemar and forces him away. He is unable to remain and wait for his companions. He feels uncontrollably drawn to seek out his fate. He was keen to get away, for he did not want any of his followers to come and hinder him, or attempt to detain him. (p.45)

The isolation theme is continued as Guigemar travels alone to a harbor, in which is a ship. The ship is described as being majestic in its beauty, which keeps with the crossing over into the world of magic, signified by the hind responsible for Guigemar s wound. There was no peg or deck-rail which was not made of ebony. No gold on earth was worth more and the sail was made entirely of silk, very beautiful when unfurled. (p.45) Upon boarding the ship Guigemar became aware of the fact that it was empty. He rode forward, dismounted and in great pain climbed aboard expecting to find men in charge. But the ship was deserted and he saw no one. (p.45) Not only does the mysteriousness of the deserted ship keep with the isolation of the other world it also represents isolation itself as another immediate factor. It was the isolation of this magic ship that led Guigemar to his love.

It is interesting to note that isolation is present also in Guigemar s love s situation before he arrives for her. Her jealous husband took the task of guarding her so seriously that he had her imprisoned in her own home. There was only a single point of entry, guarded day and night. The sea enclosed it on the other side, so it was impossible to get in or out, except by boat, should the need arise in the castle. As a secure place for his wife, the lord had constructed within the enclosure a chamber of incomparable beauty, at the entrance of which stood a chapel….In this room the lady was imprisoned. (p.46) The relationship between isolation and magical beauty is continued here as well. The prison is described as being of incomparable beauty and being decorated with poetic images. The walls of the chamber were covered in paintings in which Venus, the goddess of love, was skillfully depicted together with the nature and obligations of love; how it should be served with loyalty and good service. (p.46) The lady was indeed alone, isolated from all except for her servant and the lord, upon his command. No one, man or woman, could have gained access to this spot, or escaped from this walled enclosure. (p.46) Thus far Guigemar s isolation as well as the lady s isolation may be seen as vehicles for their introduction to one another.

In the lai of Guigemar we are presented with isolation as a physical removal from others. Whether it be Guigemar alone in the woods or the lady alone in her prison home, the isolation is always physical and forced, even if it be a force of magic such as the curse of the magical animal on Guigemar which draws him to the magic ship. In the case of Lanval this is often times not the case. With Lanval we often see isolation as a more psychological event. In the story s opening we see Lanval as being isolated from the very court and king he serves. He apportioned wives and lands to all, save to one who had served him: this was Lanval, whom he did not remember, and for whom no one put in a good word. (p.73) Immediately we see isolation as alienation. There is no forced removal from an environment, but rather a removal from the hearts and minds of the other members of the court, most importantly that of the king s. It should be noted though that physical isolation is touched upon briefly when it is mentioned that Lanval was born of another lord in another land. He was the son of a king of noble birth, but far from his inheritance… (p.73)

Even though the alienation experienced by Lanval is not a physical removal from his peers, it is indeed forced. Because the other knights are jealous of him they actively ignore him. Because of his valour, generosity, beauty and prowess, many were envious of him. (p.73) Lanval was made to feel distraught by this isolated environment within which he found himself. Ironically, in an attempt to take his ease he rode out of the town alone. He left the town and came alone to a meadow, dismounting by a stream; but there his horse trembled violently, so he loosened its saddlegirth and left it, allowing it to enter the meadow to roll over on its back. (p.73) It is amidst this isolation that events begin to occur to him, remembering of course that it was an earlier isolation that brought this instance. It is here that Lanval meets two beautiful women that lead away even farther to meet his love.

Lanval s love was one of great beauty, described as the most exotic in the land. Inside the tent was the maiden who surpassed in beauty the lilly and the new rose when it appears in summer. (p.74) Within the isolation of the extravagant tent the maiden was lying in, it was revealed to him that he must never reveal the secret of their love to anyone. The consequence for this was their never being able to see each other again. Beloved. she said, I admonish, order, and beg you not to reveal this secret to anyone! I shall tell you the long and the short of it: you would lose me forever if this love were to become known. You would never be able to see me or possess me. (p.75) An interesting situation develops because of the nature of his relationship with the maiden. As long as Lanval keeps the love a secret from all persons he will always be furnished with great wealth and clothing. So it is the isolation of the relationship from others that allows him to become close to others for the first time. This is because he is now able to bring any and all people into his home that need shelter and offer them the greatest hospitality, as well as perform other gracious deeds. That night he offered lavish hospitality but no one knew how this came to be. There was no knight in the town in sore need of shelter whom he did not summon and serve richly and well. Lanval gave costly gifts, Lanval freed prisoners, Lanval clothed the jongleurs, Lanval performed many honerable acts. There was no one, stranger or friend, to whom he would not have given gifts. (p.75) The other knights also took notice of Lanval s generosity and welcomed him into their arms. Gawain, the noble and the worthy, who endeared himself to all, said: In god s name, lords, we treat our companion Lanval ill, for he is so generous and courtly, and his father is a rich king, yet we have not brought him with us. (p.75)

When Lanval goes to the garden in the company of the other knights, upon their request, we see a continuation of the theme of psychological isolation. Lanval retreats to an isolated corner of the garden to be by himself. Upon doing so he is approached by another woman while alone. Lanval withdrew to one side, far from the others, for he was impatient to hold his beloved, to kiss, embrace and touch her. He cared little for other people s joy when he could not have his own pleasure. When the queen saw the knight alone, she approached him straightaway. (p.76) It again is isolation as a necessary ingredient to a plot mixed perfectly.

Lanval, unable to keep the secret of his love, is forced to defend himself in court against the accusations of the queen. Although unable to prove his own innocence, it is his love that ultimately does this. The maiden rides through the town and into court, proving his innocence for him. Upon his release leaves court with his love. He went with her to Avalon, so the Bretons tell us, to a very beautiful island. (p.81) Needless to say, the two of them went alone.

There are certain similarities between these two lais with respect to the theme of isolation. For instance, Guigemar must go off alone to the other, magical world to find his love so that he may eventually return and restore order to his life. On the other hand, Lanval, upon finding his love and eventually restoring order to his own life, leaves with her to the other, magical world of Avalon. It is there that they remain together on an island alone. Throughout the two lais isolation proved to be able to manifest itself in slightly different ways, primarily physical removal as opposed to psychological alienation. Although indeed a bit different in the exactness of their nature, both are undoubtedly linked in their ability to facilitate wondrous happenings in a world where isolation breeds magical events powerful enough to dramatically alter lives.

FREE My Lai: A Critical Analysis Essay

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On 16 March 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, and American Division entered the village of My Lai. Shortly after the killing spree began, My Lai in the South Vietnamese district of Son My, a heavily mined area of Vietcong entrenchment, where numerous members of Charlie Company had been killed or maimed in the area during the preceding weeks. The agitated troops, under the command of Lt. William Calley, entered the village poised for engagement with Vietcong. This massacre killed over 500 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Calley ordered his troops to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire. The massacre in My Lai remains one of the most shameful examples in U.S. history of over obedience to authority.

Charlie Company came to Vietnam in December 1967. Its mission was to pressure the Vietcong in an area of the province known as Pinkville. Charlie Company's commanding officer was Captain Ernest Medina, a thirty-three year old Mexican-American from New Mexico who was popular with his soldiers. One of his platoon leaders was twenty-four year old William Calley.

Calley did not command nearly so much respect from his subordinates or superiors in the military. Very few of the people that worked with him on a regular basis liked him. Captain Medina would often address him as "Lieutenant Shithead  in front of his men. The opinion of him in his platoon was universally hostile. One GI described him as a "glory-hungry person ¦the kind of person who would have sacrificed all of us for his own personal advancement.  Others called him "nervous, excitable type who yelled a lot  and "incompetent.  Another GI said, "There was something about him that rubbed people the wrong way.  It was even said that Calley was so disliked by members of the unit that they put a bounty on his head. None of the men had any respect for him as

Essays Related to My Lai: A Critical Analysis

The Lais of Marie de France Analysis

The Lais of Marie de France Analysis

Marie de France is the earliest French woman poet whose name is known today. Her major work, The Lais of Marie de France. consists of twelve poems that range in length from 118 to 1,184 lines. Although these poems were composed over a number of years, Marie decided at some point to collect the lais into a single book. She added a fifty-six-line prologue dedicating the volume to a “noble king” whom she never names. For more than a century, scholars have attempted to determine this king’s identity—and even the land that he ruled—but the matter remains a mystery. One leading possibility is that Marie’s “noble king” was Henry II, the English ruler who came to the throne in 1154. Like Marie, Henry was of French descent but lived in England, where a large number of the Lais were set.

The word lai (plural lais ) that Marie adopts for her poems is a French borrowing of the Provençal term for “ballad.” Originally, lais were short, lyric poems sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. By Marie’s time, however, the term lais had expanded to include nonmusical poems intended to be read, either privately or as part of a court entertainment. In Marie’s Lais. references to such figures as the Roman poet Ovid, the medieval grammarian Priscian, and the legendary Babylonian queen Semiramis make it clear that these works were intended for a highly educated audience. Marie herself appears to have been quite learned. She knew both Latin and English and attained a wide reputation for her poetry during her own lifetime.

The Lais of Marie de France were written in Old French with rhyming couplets of eight-syllable lines. Each of the poems presents a romantic crisis that leads the central characters to an adventure. Some stories, such as “Equitan,” attempt to teach a moral lesson; most are pure entertainment. A few of the lais. including “Chaitivel” and “The Two Lovers,” end tragically. The majority of the poems, however, represent love as ultimately triumphant over obstacles arising during the course of the story.

Marie de France was a pioneer in women’s literature not because she limited herself to issues of concern to women but because she achieved prominence in a genre that would long remain dominated by men. Throughout the entire Middle Ages, Marie was the only woman author of romantic tales to achieve a status equal to that of Chrétien de Troyes, Guillaume de Lorris, Jean (Clopinel) de Meung, Gottfried von Strassburg, and Wolfram von Eschenbach.

As a result of both the conventions of medieval romance and the culture of her time, Marie often gave more attention to the male characters in her poems than to the female characters. With the exception of Le Fresne (“Ash Tree”) and La Codre (“Hazel Tree”), whose names are central to the plot of the story, few women in Marie’s Lais are even named. Most women simply have titles, such as “Meriaduc’s sister” and “Eliduc’s wife,” that define their position in terms of their male relatives. Even Guinevere, who appears as a minor character in “Lanval,” is called simply “the queen.” Nevertheless, Marie’s success in her genre prepared the way for such later women authors as Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549), whose Heptaméron was based upon the structure of the Decameron (1348-1353; English translation, 1702), by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375). Moreover, Marie’s aristocratic and intellectual poetry anticipated the later works of such authors as Anna, Comtesse de Noailles (1876-1933) and Catherine Pozzi (1882-1934).

Bruckner, Matilda Tomaryn. “Marie de France.” In French Women Writers. edited by Eva Sartori and Dorothy Zimmerman. Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press, 1991. Discussions of the chronology and themes of the lais and a concise survey of critical writings, including the importance of the lais in feminist studies.

Burgess, Glyn Sheridan. “Chivalry and Prowess in the Lais of Marie de France.” French Studies 37 (April, 1983): 129-142. Burgess argues that the Lais are primarily an upper-class phenomenon presenting twelfth century knights in the context of their social superiors. This article also studies the vocabulary that Marie adopts for various courtly virtues.

Burgess, Glyn Sheridan. “The Lais of Marie de France”: Text and Context. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987. The best general analysis of the Lais. this work deals with such matters as chronology, chivalry, character analysis, vocabulary, and the status of women in the poems. Includes an extensive bibliography.

Burgess, Glyn S. and Keith Busby. Introduction to The Lais of Marie de France. London: Penguin Books, 1986. Overview of the extant manuscripts, composition of The Lais of Marie de France. and the major themes and impact of the work. Includes a comparison of the.

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An Analysis of Feminist Articles Essay

An Analysis of Feminist Articles Essay | Essay An Analysis of Feminist Articles

Summary: Explores the feminist implications of the article, "Cherchez la Femme: Feminist Criticism and Marie de France's `Lai de Lanval'," by Sharon Kinoshita. Argues that Marie's feminism is not revealed through her portrayal of strong female characters, but instead through the titular male character's rejection of the code of chivalry.

Kinoshita, Sharon. "Cherchez la Femme: Feminist Criticism and Marie de France's `Lai de Lanval'." Romance Notes 34.3 (1994): 263-73.

In the article, "Cherchez la Femme: Feminist Criticism and Marie de France's `Lai de Lanval'," Sharon Kinoshita examines Marie de France's "Lanval" and its feminist implications. She explores three critical essays that discuss the feminism revealed in the Lais of Marie de France and the differing views represented in each criticism. After discussing these interpretations Kinoshita retells "Lanval" and reveals her own opinion. Through her analysis of the three critical essays and her breakdown of "Lanval" Kinoshita argues Marie's feminism is not revealed through her portrayal of strong female characters, but instead through the titular male character's rejection of the code of chivalry.

Kinoshita begins the article by examining critical essays by William S. Woods, Charles Huchet and Michelle Freeman. Each critic has a different interpretation on what aspects.

This section contains 1,121 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)