Old French romance, analogy, Crusade Cycle
The technique of composition through analogy, a distinctive trait of the Old French romance as affirmed by Eugene Vinaver in the Rise of Romance, is a major feature of La Naissance du Chevalier au Cygne, which is structured by the epic laisse. Written in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century to serve as a preface to the Old French Crusade Cycle, the NChCy recounts the birth of the Swan Knight, the legendary grandfather of Godefroy de Bouillon, hero of the First Crusade. The poem also relates the metamorphosis of the future Swan Knight and his five brothers into swans and then, except for one brother, back again to human form. Furthermore, the systematic use of the images of birth, baptism, rebirth, and metamorphosis in the narrative of the NChCy analogously reveals a Christian level of interpretation of the poem.
Evans, George L. Jr.
"The Christian Context of Rebirth in La Naissance Du Chevalier Au Cygne,"
Quidditas: Vol. 2
, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/rmmra/vol2/iss1/7