In the romance
written by the twelfth-century French author, Chrétien de Troyes a feigned death releases the heroine from her detested marriage and brings her into the arms of her lover. The motif of the feigned death has been considered to be related to a Byzantine story about the wife of the biblical King Solomon, a narrative that pictures women as demon-like creatures. However, the theme of the ‘undead girl’ has a different tradition as well. This tradition is much closer to the concept of
and appeared first in the Greek romance
by Xenophon of Ephesus. The virtuosity by means of which he handles the different sources reveals Chrétien’s talent and perfection as a writer and his amazing sense of humour.