This article disputes recent literary interpretations of Lanseloet van Denemerken by analysing the text in the first instance as drama. In particular, the article argues against the view that a moral contrast should be made between Lanseloet and the anonymous Knight, and also against the view that this contrast coincides with the antithesis between courtly and civic culture. In this interpretation, Lanseloet's conduct is seen to be less reprehensible, the Knight's behavior less laudable. Lanseloet is faced with a real dilemma, the choice between love and class is a truly tragic one. This dilemma is recognized as such by the audience. It was not a matter of course that Lanseloet should choose in favor of love (and a marriage with Sanderijn) and against class (and his mother). The Knight's primary function is to emphasize Lanseloet's tragic fate.
N.B. Dit artikel is tevens opgenomen in De Middeleeuwen in honderd artikelen van de Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (DBNL). Klik hier voor de volledige tekst.
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