Guide The Shepherdess and the King (Herakles vs. Book 1)

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It requires a substantial and varied critical apparatus to clarify the fifth-century history, the sometime archaic vocabulary, the mythological foundation, Neoplatonic values, Celtic theology, Counter-Reformation ambitions, bold treatment of sexuality, as well as problems due to the author's untimely death - missing closure allowing suspicious additions. It has long been a reference, but it does not give any assistance to the readers. The novel continuation, a draft published without the author consent, is represented by the edition of the fourth part with its modern French version and its Word version.

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Readers can investigate the critical and analytical reasoning by following the order suggested by this sign:. A detailed User guide explains the organization of the site. It will certainly see additions and modifications. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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Texts and documents are provided for the personal use of scholars, students, and the public. Any commercial use or publication without prior authorization is strictly prohibited. Music and pictures are not in the public domain and cannot be copied. The story is set in fifth-century Gaul , in the region of Forez , and the action lasts about six months.


Most of the principal characters are young; the heroes are not even twenty years old. Three years before the beginning of the novel, Clidaman organized a game of chance to pair off young men with maidens.

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Many outsiders visit Forez , most of them dressed as shepherds. They mingle with people who live in the hamlet but not with people who live in the castle. We know them as Silvandre and Paris. Starting in the second volume, the author inserts narratives that evoke the actual detailed history of the fifth century. In the fourth volume, the Story of Dorinde presents the court of Gondebaud , king of the Bourguignons. Only one historical short story certainly refers to current events that took place in France at the end of the sixteenth century.

This story, placed at the beginning of volume three, was published nine years after the king's assassination. Love pleasures and love sorrows proliferate. The main thing, however, remains the faculty of judging soundly questions of the heart. The novelist, of course, does not refute himself. He remains the author of the Epistres morales when he asks : How will the beloved choose between two lovers?

How can one be sure of the feelings of the chosen partner? Will time bring certitude or peace to those torn souls? Hope alone supports those who love, says the novelist who considers hope as love's mother, sister I, 3, 72 verso , and nanny I, 10, verso. The big question will never get a definitive answer. Will these love stories end well?

Let's first agree on the meaning of "end well.

Jean Du Crozet , in , after reading a draft of the novel, announced:. The novel will close on happy couples who are not yet indissolubly attached, couples still hoping. The love story of Diane and Silvandre provides a stop watch to indicate the passage of time. As for the loves of Hylas , they are interweaved to vary the perspective The second part begins one month after the end of the first, during the summer.

It lasts about three months. The third part begins in July, three days after the end of the second. It lasts a week or so; the wager ends later than expected.

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The fourth part starts right after the third and only takes three days. The passage of hours and days is indicated by the state of the moon and by the meals. At that time, Forezian druids will return from their annual meeting, they will have seen the true Alexis and they will be able to unmask the hero. Time is counted.

The specific time of adventures does not match well the leaping time of culture, i. Around them gravitate some three hundred characters. In all contexts and in all memories, this emblematic couple eclipses the other characters. Thus, in , when a young man in the Roman bourgeois offers the five volumes of the novel to the girl he wants to seduce,. We have preserved what offers the most coherence and continuity and perhaps [ He is believed dead. A double story line ensues because the protagonists will live different adventures. Their story started on a holy day: the shepherd dressed as a woman to make his first declaration of love to her.

Shepherds from other hamlets, shepherds from the city of Paris , and strangers disguised as shepherds. They all tell their adventures. Some request arbitration.

Aristocrtic love life is upset by the presence of this too lovable young man. There he exhibits an enlargement of a portrait the shepherdess offered him, which he decorates with poems.

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Adamas thus suggests that the young man temporarily take the name and place of his daughter, Alexis , and live with him. This disguise can last only three and a half months, since it must end before the closure of the annual meeting of the druids, for the people of Forez will then know that the real daughter of Adamas is still in her convent. The fake daughter must disappear before. She believes the "spirit" of the shepherd built the temple and expressed his love. Hylas , the womanizer of the novel, falls in love with the fake druid.

Who could doubt the word of Adamas who pretends to be the father of this attractive Alexis? During a two day visit, the young couple has intimate conversations. Alexis tells her about her love for a young female druid who rejected her. Adamas ' house is the site of the most astonishing titillating scenes, thanks to the description of bedtimes and awakenings. This time, the distribution of beds is more delicate. Adamas is summoned to the palace with his daughter and his niece. Several sequels were published.

The first group, the more reliable, consists of drafts published in , and The second group is due to Balthazar Baro. His pseudo Vraye Astree and his Conclusion appeared in and Roles are reversed because they have exchanged names and dresses. Their constant caresses surprise their companions.

When a young woman is attacked by a troop of armed men, Alexis fights like a man; Alexis defends the male gender when all men are accused of being unfaithful. She wakes up screaming the name of the shepherd. Forez is in a state of alert.

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He kidnaps Adamas' daughter to punish the druid. The young people go to Marcilly.

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  6. The humiliated and mortified shepherdess orders the young man to die. Filled with remorse, the young woman had planned to meet that same fate. The lions fight each other and are transformed into stone. In a clap of thunder the Love God appears to announce an oracle for the following day. A few days later, the inhabitants of the hamlet and the castle parade before the now available fountain of Truth in love.