Classics Retold is coming to a close and so is the fun I had exploring adaptations of Tristan and Iseult for the Ancient to Renaissance Lit category hosted by Books Take You Places. It was difficult tracking down some of the adaptations I would have liked to read or watch, but they weren’t available at the two libraries I tried or online. On the other hand, some of the adaptations I did get my hands on I found difficult to digest and I decided to stop reading them.
In summary, I read/watched:
What is your favorite version of the story and why?
I liked the 2006 movie adaptation the best because it was visually beautiful, full of action and very romantic. The leading actors did a great job of portraying Tristan, Isolde and Mark. I also liked that Tristan and Isolde fall in love without a magic potion.
What was the most creative version of your story?
Pardes was the most creative since it was a Bollywood-style movie with lots of singing and dancing. I didn’t love the musical numbers and skipped a few of them, but the ones I watched were definitely fun.
What are the common themes that pop up in most versions of your story?
The most common theme in the Tristan and Iseult adaptations is the struggle between honouring your duty and being with the person you love, Unfortunately, that person always turns out to be off-limits to you.
What have you learned from your story?
I learned that the theme of star-crossed lovers, love triangles and tragic heroes originates from this medieval tale.
What adaptations are you most disappointed you didn’t read/watch?
I would have loved to watch the animated French movie, Tristan et Iseut, but couldn’t find a version with English subtitles.
Which adaptation of your story do you recommend as the ONE to read/watch?
Without doubt, I recommend Tristan and Isolde because it’s not only a great popcorn movie, but a good introduction to the legend.