Chevalier de la charrete, Lancelot, literary romance
At the conclusion of Chrétien de Troyes’s twelfth-century verse Chevalier de la charrete, a spring and sycamore allude to concupiscence and betrayal in Scripture, evoking the hero’s and the queen’s adulterous liaison. The author of the thirteenth-century French Prose Lancelot translates this allusion from a moment of joy for the queen to one of terror, foreshadowing a change in fortune for the hero and his prowess. Every subsequent adventure where the hero encounters a spring and sycamore points to his love for the queen as a source of corruption. Springs shaded by a pine tree hint at the sanctity of marriage and the need to protect it against intruders. Amidst these adventures, stags, lions, and a pious vagabond reference hagiography and Scripture, underscoring a thirst for the divine. As a consequence, readers may understand the romance as promoting the austere values of La Queste del Saint Graal, even apart from episodes prophesying the Grail quest.
King, David S.
"Allusive Fontaines, Sicamors, and Pins: Figurative Prophecies of Grail Piety in the Prose Lancelot,"
Quidditas: Vol. 41
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/rmmra/vol41/iss1/3