The Franklin's Tale
By: Elizabeth Spain
Soon after, Arveragus returns home and Dorigen is released of her depression. This sends Aurelius into a depression because even with his prayers, he was not able to rid the coastline of the dangerous rocks and will never be able to have the love of Dorigen. For two years, Aurelius' brother cares for him as "To outward appearance his heart was whole/ but within his breast the sharp arrow remained"(383-384). The brother and Aurelius then travel to Orléans to find a magician who can make the rocks disappear to win Dorigen's love. When the magician comes to Brittany, he creates the illusion that the rocks have disappeared. Dorigen spirals back into depression as she knows she has to fulfill her promise of sleeping with Aurelius. To get out of this, she decides to kill herself. When her husband returns home for the second time, she tells him and he tells her that she should fulfill her promise because he cannot live without her. Dorigen then goes back to the gardens to sleep with Aurelius but as he sees that she is deeply saddened by this; he releases her from the promise. Arveragus goes to compensate Aurelius for the release of the promise but Aurelius refuses to accept the money as he explains how it was only an illusion and he did not fulfill the deal. After this, Arveragus and Dorigen live happily with the equal marriage that they agreed upon.
Moral of the Tale
If an 'impossible task' is completed, should the promiser uphold their end of the bargain if the task was never meant to be completed?
One Thing I Had to Research
Five Vocabulary Words
Roundelays: a song in which a phrase, line, or the like, is continually repeated
Beneficence: the doing of good; active goodness or kindness; charity
Languor: lack of energy or vitality; sluggishness
Jugglery: any trickery or deception