Le Roman de Troie | Benoît de Sainte-Maure | A Review


Le Roman de Troie | Benoît de Sainte-Maure | A Review

Le Roman de Troie   Benoît de Sainte-Maure  A Review

Le Roman de Troie Benoît de Sainte-Maure A Review

Le Roman de Troie by Benoît de Sainte-Maure-A Review

“Le Roman de Troie” is a remarkable epic poem written by the medieval French poet Benoît de Sainte-Maure. Composed in the 12th century, this work stands as a significant contribution to the literary and cultural landscape of the time. The poem is a retelling of the legendary tale of the Trojan War, drawing inspiration from classical sources such as Homer’s “Iliad” and Virgil’s “Aeneid.” This review delves into the various aspects of the poem, highlighting its narrative structure, themes, historical significance, and lasting impact.

Narrative Structure:

Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s “Le Roman de Troie” follows a sprawling narrative structure that spans over 30,000 verses. Divided into five books, the poem presents a comprehensive account of the events leading up to the Trojan War, the war itself, and its aftermath. The poet’s narrative approach is characterized by its detailed descriptions, rich imagery, and vivid character portrayals. The work provides readers with a comprehensive panorama of the characters’ motivations, emotions, and actions, making it a monumental example of medieval storytelling.


The poem explores a multitude of themes that continue to resonate with readers across generations:

Love and Betrayal: The theme of love and betrayal is central to the poem. The adulterous relationship between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot mirrors the ill-fated romance between Paris and Helen of Troy, which serves as a catalyst for the Trojan War.

Heroism and Honor: The valor of the Trojan and Greek heroes is depicted through epic battles and courageous acts. The concept of honor is explored as characters make choices that impact their reputation and legacy.

Destiny and Fate: The poem grapples with the concept of destiny and the inevitability of events, as foretold by prophecies and omens. The characters’ attempts to thwart fate highlight the tension between human agency and preordained outcomes.

War and Consequence: The brutal realities of war are portrayed in vivid detail, underscoring the devastating consequences of conflicts fueled by pride and ambition. The poem serves as a cautionary tale against the horrors of unchecked power struggles.

Historical Significance:

“Le Roman de Troie” holds historical significance as a key work of medieval literature. It stands as a bridge between classical and medieval narratives, reinterpreting ancient myths for a new audience. The poem also offers insights into the cultural values, social norms, and worldview of the 12th-century French society. Through its adaptation of classical material, the poem demonstrates the ongoing fascination with the past and the desire to reinterpret it through contemporary lenses.

Lasting Impact:

The enduring impact of “Le Roman de Troie” can be seen in its influence on subsequent literature and the arts. The poem served as a source of inspiration for later medieval writers, including Geoffrey Chaucer and the authors of Arthurian romances. Its themes of chivalry, courtly love, and tragedy continue to reverberate in literary works through the ages. Additionally, the poem contributes to the ongoing fascination with the Trojan War, a subject that has captivated artists, writers, and scholars for centuries.

In conclusion, Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s “Le Roman de Troie” is a monumental work of medieval literature that skillfully interweaves classical mythology with the cultural sensibilities of its time. Its intricate narrative structure, exploration of timeless themes, historical significance, and lasting influence make it a testament to the enduring power of storytelling and its ability to transcend temporal boundaries. 0 0 0.

Le Roman de Troie Benoît de Sainte-Maure A Review

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N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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