Reading the secondary piece by Fisher and then reading Lais from Marie de France brought a certain amount of clarity to the nuances behind the primary reading in which I sought out instances in which gender and culture differed from what I had previously encountered. Themes within these writings stand out within the context of the characters regarding the autonomy of female characters, Lineage preference, and portraying the male characters with a loss of control.
The autonomy of female characters within these readings stand out in that they are involved in the process of matrimonial pre-cursers, in so much as many of them create the plans for action, instigate relations, and/or (at times) abide by oath's better than their male counterparts. For instance in Guigemar it is the female that instigates the manner in which their love will be bound by creating a knot that only she can untie. This would indicate that the lady takes charge of the relationship and sets the standards for which it will pursued. Guigemar is then bound by the love that his lady has set forth, always searching for the one whom can untie the knot. Fisher's piece that speaks towards the Gender roles of the time would indicate that these writings attempt to flip upon their heads the ideology of the woman being the one awaiting upon the knight to free her from a bound of love they have made by his consent. This type of power of the woman is also seen in Le Fresne in which it is Frense that controls emotional ties of the relationship, keeps herself in check, and abides by the standards of the time towards what is acceptable within a relationship. However, Frense is portrayed as an individual in charge of her own emotions, which runs counter to some writings in which women are portrayed within, what was deemed, "hysteria". It is the male protagonist that demonstrates less control over their life position and their ability to choose in matters of love.
The Lineage question presents in these stories as a question of wether the relationship between the two protagonist could be valid due to their difference in birth place. Again with Guigemar there is a foreign man that falls in love, is dependent upon, a woman from another country. Instead of focusing upon how the woman is lesser because of where she is from it is Guigemar that must fight his own loyalty to uphold the lineage and wether or not he can cope with this difference. In Equitan the wife is striving to better her position, not only in love but, in power. We see that it is the woman whom makes the plans, takes action, and climb the social ladder. Her plan meets in disaster only when the King, whom is overtaken by emotions to the point of causing havoc, succumbs to his baser feelings and is caught. Even before this happens she sets the standard by which the relationship would be in saying "Love is not worthy if it is not equal." ; this is something that most female representatives would begin to say much less even be thought to be written that they even had these thoughts. This hit as pertaining to what Fisher wrote about Doxa in which Marie would write her characters that go against what was regarded as normal within their own lineage and gender.
Fisher also pointed toward the a gendered discourse to discuss what the society terms in normalcy within her literature. The men in these stories are repeatedly portrayed with a lack of control of their emotional states which lead them to, at times, betray the very essence of what they at once thought was important. Issues such as how an oath is fulfilled by the knights is challenged by their lack of ability to control their emotional states. What is pointed out is the helplessness that these men encounter that is paralleled to the action that the women take is a reversal to what was commonly instituted or accepted. Guigmar's inability to control his own fate or emotions, the King in Equitan bumbling around with thoughts of love and having to equalize it by command, Gurun being limited by his station to love, In Bisclarvet it centers around a man that has no control at all, and Lanval having to abide by his lady's rules of engagement. These stories run a common theme of a reversal of power where the man is left to his baser emotions and the woman has control in some way.
Fishers piece illustrates the idea that Marie sought to portray the difficulty of assimilation but also used the literature to draw commentary of gender relations and power struggles within each community. The women in Lais portray a number of "male" traits as regarded within the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and does well in instituting the power of the female characters as reasoned individuals. The characters do not portray a stoic or "non-natural" state within the stories but are believable because they have depth and nuances that are not present in other female characters of this time period.