“30 Second Lais” – Morals in Marie de France

I found this video on YouTube that is tied to our previous discussion on Marie de France. The creators claim that they take two of Marie de France’s lais and condenses them into thirty seconds. They both go well past that limit, but I think the concept is noteworthy. The first that they adapt is Equitan which is followed by Laustic. One of the things that we touched on just briefly in class is the short length of these writings (especially when compared to a text like The Owl and the Nightingale). The ending of Laustic seems curt and almost laughably simple, but the text isn’t (and wasn’t) the thing. As we said, it’s the discussions after a lai that really get to the heart of an issue. It’s almost as if there would be a hypothetical problem told to an audience and it’s up to them to argue about what side they’re on. That’s where I think these silly – albeit fun – adaptations get us. One of the writers tells us that the moral of Laustic is to “lie convincingly to your husband because the better your lie, the better your lays. *Too big of a wink*” (Get it?) If someone would like to comment on that, feel free. There’s a whole layer to just figuring out the possible moral of the story. I do enjoy these reworkings because they start a discourse on adultery (they focus on the ‘sleeping together’ a lot) or whether or not it actually was. Enjoy!


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