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By Winfred P. Lehmann

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Tristan died for his love, fair Ysolt because of tender pity. p. 2011 0:25:54] next page > page_44 < previous page page_44 next page > Page 44 These four verses catch the essence of doubling in Thomas's text, not only as stylistic pattern but as organizing principle in the lovers' lives and story: the exact repetition of the verse describing Tristan's death reminds us of the lovers' desire to fuse two into one, to eliminate all distinction, all difference within the couple; the variations of the two verses describing Iseut's death, alternating, interwoven with Tristan's own, both say the same thing, but with different words, suggest a distinction, a difference that is as fundamental to the couple as their desire for unity.

49 On the other hand, where Tristan's retellings are perfect clear and detailed, arranged in chronological order, the fool's disguise is completely impenetrable. Indeed, that impenetrability vouchsafes the apparent clarity of Tristan's renarrations; his change of voice guarantees their failure to reveal him. If we consider the two Folies in relation to the larger Tristan tradition the same criss-cross pattern appears. 2011 0:25:48] next page > page_33 < previous page page_33 next page > Page 33 as the participants, must know the tradition well in order to reconstruct or situate Tristan and Iseut's story.

4950 and 241), Tristan's statues, and the mistaken sails that lead to death in the end. Unlike Marie's Chievrefoil (vv. 910), the Oxford Folly contains no explicit allusions to the lovers' fate after their reunion here and now. The Folly episode's success reconnects past and present, conceals for a moment the future deaths and separations. 46 Of course, dying does appear verbally in the Folie d'Oxfordthe metaphors of death that describe Tristan's love suffering (vv. 524, 16972), Tristan's thoughts about the danger posed by Mark's hatred (vv.

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