Bisclavret, a baron in Brittany, has been vanishing every week for three full days without his wife, or anyone in his household, knowing where he goes. His wife finally begs him to tell her his secret, and he explains that he is a werewolf, and that he needs to hide his clothing in a safe place to transform back to human form. His wife convinces him of her trustworthiness, and he tells her where he hides his clothing. When he is away, she summons a knight who has long loved her, and sends him to steal her husband's clothing. When her husband fails to return, she marries the knight.
A year later, the king, who was Bisclavret's friend, goes hunting, and his dogs corner Bisclavret, now fixed in wolf form. As soon as he sees the king, Bisclavret runs up to him to beg for mercy by taking the king's stirrup and kissing his foot and leg. This so astounds the king that he has his companions drive back the dogs. When the wolf returns with the hunting party, the king is delighted with the marvel. Everyone at the palace grows to love the wolf for its nobility and gentleness.
One day, the knight who had married Bisclavret's wife comes to the castle, and Bisclavret attacks him, more than once. Because the wolf had never acted so violently before, everyone thinks that the knight must somehow have wronged him. Soon after, the king goes to the forest where he had found Bisclavret. Bisclavret's wife goes to the king, and Bisclavret attacks her, tearing off her nose.
A wise man points out that the wolf had never acted so before, and that this woman was the wife of Bisclavret, who had vanished. The king has the wife questioned, and she confesses all and yields up the stolen clothing. They put the clothing before the wolf, but he ignores it. The wise man advises them to take the wolf and the clothing into a bedchamber, and let Bisclavret change in privacy.
The king restores Bisclavret to his lands, and exiles his wife and her knight. The wife's children are afterwards born without noses.
'Doon' and 'Tyolet': Two Old French Narrative Lays.('Melion' and 'Biclarel': Two Old French Werwolf Lays)(Book review)
Jul 01, 2006; 'Doon' and 'Tyolet': Two Old French Narrative Lays. Ed. and trans. by GLEN BURGESS and LESLIE C. BROOK. (Liverpool Online Series:...