“And I shall tell you one thing;
you might as well know all:
any one of those who serve her,
the poorest girl of all,
is better than you, my lady queen,
in body, face, and beauty,
in breeding and in goodness.”
The queen left him
and went, weeping, to her chamber.
She was upset and angry
because he had insulted her.
Prior to his statements above, Lanval had rejected amorous advances made by the Queen, and the reason for this was because of his love for another woman whom he had encountered earlier in the story. Angered that Lanval would have the audacity to reject such an offer, the Queen proceeds to negate his heterosexuality based on hearsay. In these lines (296-306), Lanval is responding to those comments made by the Queen. In this excerpt, he explains to the Queen that not only is the woman whom he is in romantic ties with more beautiful than her, but that even those who work for her that are the most destitute are more beautiful than her. After hearing these surprising and bold words from Lanval, the Queen is upset and returns back to her chamber.
Throughout the story, there seems to be a theme of honor. This honor is highlighted by the honor of word (Lanval refusing to mention anything about his earlier encounter with the woman), as well as the honor for higher power (the King). This set of lines is crucial to the development of the story as not only is Lanval clearly disrespecting the Queen and thus dishonoring the King, he is dishonoring the promise of his word made to the beautiful woman. By dishonoring both major characters in the story, Lanval is now at the mercy of those two whom he subconsciously (and consciously) strives to satisfy and keep content with every waking minute of his day.
What is especially important to note, is the extent to which Lanval disrespects the Queen. He not only reveals that there is another woman whom he loves who is more beautiful than the Queen, but a person who is on the opposite spectrum of the...