Discovering Dèduit: An examination of the garden setting in the Roman de la Rose

Irina Ridzuan


Roman de la Rose is a French poem which chronicles the journey of a young man within a secluded garden setting (the Garden of Dèduit). The poem was initially written by Guillaume de Lorris in c.1230 and later completed by Jean de Meun in c.1270. However, the authors’ differing literary styles have resulted in debates surrounding the poem’s meaning. In this study, I address the central interpretative problem by focusing on the illustrated garden setting of Dèduit and its relation to the literary content. Ultimately, I attempt to answer the following questions: How did the medieval audience perceive the garden symbolism? Did the images make a difference in the medieval reader’s understanding of the garden? What are the possible ways in which the medieval reader could interpret this garden symbolism?




Roman de la Rose; French poem; illustrated garden setting; text-image relation; medieval manuscripts; medieval readership; medieval book culture; Guillaume de Lorris; Jean de Meun; Garden of Deduit

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ISSN 1923-1334 (Online)

University of Victoria