Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Greg Sadlek


This thesis responds to critical arguments that characterize Sir Thomas Malory’s Tristram de Lyones by his adherence to or neglect of social codes. Although Tristram’s actions as a knight and lover warrant both moral and immoral judgments, interpretations tend to either neglect opposing evidence or paint two-dimensional portraits of him. Tristram’s promiscuity as a lover is interpreted from a Jungian perspective to understand his contradictory behavior. A Jungian analysis concludes that Tristram flounders from one romantic relationship to another as a response to the repressiveness of chivalry. Unable to love a woman and uphold knightly perfection, Tristram goes mad and experiences a psychic transformation that enables him to accept his imperfection.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1991 Jeanne Kocher.

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