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While the plot of Ladyhawke has its own unique twists, one example of a relevant medieval legend is the story of Bisclavret. This legend was recorded in the second half of the 12th century, as part of a work now known as The Lais of Marie de France. In the legend, Bisclavret is a happily married baron and knight of Brittany who disappears for three days of each week. When pressed by his wife, he admits that he goes hunting in wolf form. She becomes upset about this and betrays him, taking another knight as her lover and inducing him to steal Bisclavret's clothes so that he can't resume human form. Eventually the wolf becomes a companion of the king, and while at court has the opportunity to attack both his rival and his former wife. The wife is forced to admit her actions and return Bisclavret's clothing, whereupon he is restored to human form.

The image of a hawk occurs in several texts of the same time period, in (Germanic) minnesang. The poet von Kuerenberg, for instance, wrote "Women and hunting birds are easily tamed. When one lures them correctly, they fly to the man." Dietmar von Aist writes of a woman who compares herself to a falcon, choosing her loves as freely as the wild falcon chooses its perch. Bird song is also linked with the season or moment of love or parting.


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