I found the small discussion on “branching” in the tale Le Fresne to be very interesting during class. As a refresher, when talking about the Ash Tree as an object, Dr. Seaman talked about many readings of the text as seeing a parallel between the twin boys from the beginning of the tale and the twin girls the tale centers around. Fresne and Codre are the girl twins who we, as the reader, follow as they grow older. As for the male twins? We never hear any more about them after Fresne’s mother spreads the lie about having twins means the mother had been with two men. I actually thought for a second that Gurun was going to end up being one of those male twins when we are first introduced to him in the lai, but that was clearly not the case.
The branching discussion was interesting to me because there really was a certain amount of stress put of the Ash tree around line 169. Focus is given to the broad limbs of the tree. It seems to have a great significance attached to it, and we find out that it keeps baby Fresne sheltered long enough to be found. What happens to those male twins? Did they grow up to be successful knights? How different would the lives of the knights been if the mother had never spoken inappropriately? That branch of the story was, as Dr. Seaman said, completely cut off from us. I’m going to theorize that the two sets of twins would end up together had the mother never spoken aloud. I’m just having fun here theorizing but looking at evidence in the text we can see that the father of the male twins wanted to share these two boys with Fresne’s father. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to theorize that two sets of twins one male, one female from noble families would end up together. Look at Gurun later in the tale. He is pressured to go out and find a suitable noble female to marry. It just seems like the perfect match to me.
With the male twins’ branch cut off from us in the tale we never get to find out what happened to the twin boys, so I guess I’ll just keep on wondering.