The inability to find true love is the loyal and courageous knight, Guigemar’s great flaw. In class we discussed that for a knight to truly play his role to society correctly he must be both a warrior and a loyal lover to a woman. In the tale of Guigemar, we see his struggle to find the missing piece to his knightly persona. Initially, he is just not interested in love and this makes him an unnatural specimen. The fact that during the time of Marie de France people believed that love was essential to a knight seems unusual. This could support the idea that men were aware that women actually did have something worthwhile to offer to them.
The need for a woman as a sort of partner is also present in the story of the generous Sir Cleges. In this knight’s tale Sir Cleges falls out of society when he is struck by poverty. His wife is pivotal in this story as she plays the role of a level headed and optimistic instructor. It is her idea to use the abnormally winter thriving cherries to gain her husband’s status back. This plan of action would have never been put into play by her husband who immediately wished to destroy the cherries believing that their ability to grow in the winter was a bad omen.
The idea that someone is unnatural if they do not marry or engage in a love affair still seems to hold true in today’s society. It is estimated that 160,000,000 people out of a rough total of 317,042,000 in the United States are in heterosexual marriages and most of these marriages result in an egalitarian family. In this popular egalitarian family structure husbands and wives commit to an equal partnership in which both partners function more positively and successfully with the help of the other. These families work with relatively equal roles between parents. Maybe stories of knights like Guigemar and Sir Cleges were the first examples of very primary egalitarian families or even the precursors to the egalitarian structure. Although Guigemar and Sir Cleges’ wives were not what we would consider equal partners in today’s society because they were more similar to assistants, these husbands still needed their partners to help them function better in society. This emphasizes the idea that each partner needs the other to fit into society and to be more successful.