Roman de la Rose - Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meun

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Roman de la Rose - Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meun

The author of the first part of the poem (about 1230-1240)

Jean de Meun (approx. 1250-1305)

The author of the 2nd part of the poem (about 1275-1280)


The poet sees in a dream how he, in the early morning of May, walking, goes over the city to listen to the singing of the nightingale and the lark, and appears in front of impregnable walls that surround the mysterious garden. On the walls he sees images of various figures, which symbolize Hatred, Change, Corpulsion, Spoil, Envy, Despair, Old Age, Time, Hypocrisy, and Poverty. They block his way to the garden, but Carelessness, a friend of Conscience, lets him go through a narrow door.

Entering the garden, he sees the round dance, which leads the fun, and among the dancers recognizes Beauty, Wealth, Generosity, Generosity, Courtesy and Youth. He is fascinated: beautiful flowers and trees surround him, fabulous birds tell the garden of love with sweet-sounding singing, everywhere rejoice and carefree fun. Walking through the garden, he comes to the source of Narcissus, which sees a mirror image of the whole garden and beautiful roses. Staying in front of an unbroken rose, he immerses in contemplation. At that time, Amur, armed with bow and arrows, who all the time followed the young man, wherever he was walking, wound him with five arrows, whose names are Beauty, Simplicity, Kindness, Kindness and Wisdom.

The Amur-pierced with arrows, a young man, burning with tender passion, declares himself the vassal of Love. Amur teaches him how he should behave in order to achieve the position of his beloved: he needs to renounce all the lowland, to give himself entirely to the service of the lady of the heart, to show loyalty and generosity, as well as to monitor his appearance and manners. Then Amur clears the heart of the young man with his key and introduces him to the messengers of love: miseries and benefits. The blessing of love is Hope, Sweet Thought, Slavic Deception, Sweet Vision.

Encouraged by the Honorable Reception, the love is approaching Rose, but he is too much of a hole, and his careless behavior leads to the appearance of Rose Guardians: Resistance, Fear and Shame, which block his path. Blinded with passion, the young man stubbornly strives to achieve the reciprocity of his beloved without listening to the advice of the Mind, who, watching him from his high tower, calls for moderation and restraint. A friend tells the lover how to calm the guards, and Amur sends to him the help of Generosity and Pity. But when the guards are pacified and the Resistance is finally broken, Chastity arises on the way of the young man. Then Venus intervenes in the case, and thanks to her help, the lovers succeed in kissing Rose. This causes the anger of the guards: Malice calls Jealousy, they awaken the Resistance and erect an impregnable castle around Rosa, in the walls of which are the Blessed Reception. The young man complains about the inconstancy of Amur and Fortune and mourns his bitter participation.


The Word takes on Reason: He condemns the passionate young man for having succumbed to love passion, warns him of the deceit and deceit of women. Only because of his youth and inexperience the lover is forgiven of his frivolous behavior. Reason explains to him that love by its very nature serves the purpose of preserving and reproducing the human race, and the accompanying sensual joy should not become an end in itself. However, in this fallen world, subject to vices and passions, love is not itself, but only the love affairs attracts most men and women. You need to strive for the highest love, and this is love for your neighbor.

Loving is disappointed with the thoughts of the Mind and does not vomlet his advice. He appeals for help to the Wealth and asks him to release the Blessed Reception from the blow. But Wealth refuses with indignation, for the Blessed Reception never paid attention to him.

Then Love decides to seize the walls of the castle. Among her closest people are Sneakiness and Pretentious, who enjoy a great influence at the Courtyard of Love. Prejudice tells Love about how it is possible to achieve the goal, acting only by deception and flattery. A friend also convinces the young man that Sleepiness and Pretentious are the best ally of Love, and he agrees with him.

Meanwhile, Amur collects an army to storm the castle. Wishing to secure the support of his mother, Venus, he sends to her the Great and Sweet Vision. In an air chariot harnessed by a flock of dove, Venus is in a hurry to help. She is outraged by the fact that Chastity hinders the rapprochement of the young man with Rosa, and promises that he will not tolerate from now on, so that women are so zealously kept chastity.

Under the leadership of Premonition, the army of the Amur captures the castle: Malice is defeated, the Blessed Reception is freed from captivity. But when the love is about to ruin Rose, Resistance, Shame and Fear are once again blocked by him.

All this time, Nature, in its relentless care of saving life, works in its forge. In confession before Genius, Nature speaks of the fact that everything in this world is subject to its laws. Only people in pursuit of transient carnal joys often neglect one of its most important commandments: grow and multiply. The genius goes to the arm of Love and passes on to all the complaints of Nature. Cupid dresses Genius in priestly clothes, handles him a ring, a staff and a miter, and Venus gives him a lit candle. The entire army, before going on assault, sends the curse of Chastity. Finally, the hour of battle comes: Genius throws a lit candle on the fortress wall, Venus throws a torch on her. Shame and Fear are defeated and flee. Thanksgiving Reception allows the young man to come close to the beautiful Rose, he breaks it and - wakes up.