The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

Some stories are so good that they are retold many times, changing in details, but preserving the essence. In Medieval Europe, one of the most beloved stories was a terrible tale of love and cannibalism - “The Legend of Heart Eaten”. For years, beginning in the 1800s, scientists tried to sort out a huge number of versions of this story in order to understand where it all happened, but they encountered a difficulty — an Indian version of the same legend, which also needed to be included in the study.

Scientists who compiled versions of this story considered them differently, but in general there are from 14 to 24 different versions that originate around 1150 and are one of the alternatives to the love story of Tristan and Isolde. In the main version of this legend, a married woman gets a lover, and her husband finds out about it. When a lover dies (or is killed), the husband tears his heart out of him, prepares him and feeds him his wife, who dies soon after.

There are two main versions of how a lover dies. According to the first version, the husband finds a lover and kills him. In the second - the lover dies for some other reason (most often it is the death during the Crusade). Before he dies, he asks to cut out his heart and pass on to his lover (it was a popular gesture at the time), but her husband intercepts the package.

No matter how, but the wife eats the heart, and this is the key point. In almost all versions, a woman dies after that - sometimes she is thrown out of a window, sometimes she refuses food, sometimes both of them at once. There is an option where she dies of grief. If a woman survives, which is extremely rare, she finds herself in a monastery. In some versions of the story, this love is innocent, but more often the woman acts as an unfaithful spouse. In one of the most famous stories, as many as twelve women are mentioned who cheated on their husbands with the same man.

Besides the fact that this is a real thriller about a woman or women who have become cannibals by deception, the legend about a heart eaten is also a story about power. Who wins at the end: husband or wife? Different versions give different answers to this question: sometimes the vengeful relative of the wife is severely punished by the husband, sometimes he is simply thrown out of his own house.

Christianity also has echoes of this story - the ritual use of body parts; In Ignaure, 12 women help 12 apostles, and it’s not at all clear if they are villains. In the book The Perverted History of the Human Heart, scientist Milad Dwei writes that history is a kind of parody created on the “intersection of Christianity and Greek mythology” and based on the legend of Christ and Dionysus, which the Titans prepared and ate the organ they did not touch was the heart. In the "Devouring Passions," another scientist, Merrol L. Price, argues that the Christian implication of using the heart to eat allows women in the stories to "return dignity" and "punish their husbands with a decision to die."

For many years it was believed that this story came from Europe. Most of the existing versions came from European literary traditions - England, Germany, France and Italy. There was one Swedish option. In the 1880s, however, one folklore scholar discovered a version of the story that included all the main elements and took place in the region of Punjab, India. Was the Indian version a derivative of the European version, or vice versa?

Some scientists have changed their views on the possible origin of the legend outside of Europe; others began to defend the status quo. But the authoritative article, published in 1911 and devoted to understanding the relationship of stories, had a different answer. It claimed that the original version was the Indian one. European stories, especially those that appeared in the south, including Boccaccio’s The Decameron, most likely originated from the same unknown source. No place can confidently lay claim to this legend. This is just a classic.

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  • The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover

    The story of a woman who ate the heart of her lover