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The <i>Fier baiser</i>

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Abstract

Chapters cdx&#8211;cdxiii of Martorell&#8217;s Tirant lo Blanc narrate knight Esp&#232;rcius&#8217; fantastic adventures after the shipwreck on the shores of Lango. Unlike the rest of the novel, which is characterized by the verisimilitude, this episode shows many typical topoi of fantasy fiction, particularly referring to Esp&#232;rcius&#8217; ultimate trial: the Fier baiser. Martorell draws from several sources&#160;&#8211; starting with Sir John Mandeville&#8217;s Le livre des merveilles du monde&#160;&#8211; developing and adapting the legend of Hipocr&#224;s&#8217; daughter, turned into a dreadful dragon, to his purposes. By kissing the monstrous Dragon Maiden and breaking the spell Esp&#232;rcius completes his initiation thus fulfilling his destiny: he obtains the princess&#8217; hand and the sovereignty of the island. This episode represents a small break from the predominant realism of the novel, since in these chapters magic and fantasy take over the reality.

References

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