I think that Ywain’s motivation for his quests differs in the second part of the story because of his anonymity. In the first part, as the others have already mentioned, he was motivated by trying to bring honour to himself, his family, or his king. It may be argued that his motivation was all about the social dimensions of his actions – to fit in within the Arthur’s company and, though perhaps not fully intentionally, to find himself a wife. Hence, all the good deeds that Ywain performed during the first part of the story, though they were virtuous in themselves, served to advance Ywain’s career, personal life, and reputation. It is impossible to deduce if Ywain accomplished all the noble, knightly acts out of the goodness of his heart or in order to better his reputation as the text does not really dive into the psychology of the characters that deeply. However, this motivation of Ywain’s, to give himself a good social standing, disappears when Ywain’s surrenders his identity and everything he had achieved so far in life. Once he had been cured from his madness, he seems to genuinely want to help people just for the sake of doing the right thing which manifests in his refusal to take rewards, marry again, or acknowledge himself. Therefore, I would argue that the need for redemption humbled Ywain and changed his heart.
When it comes to the difference between the two versions, the English one seems to me to be much more straight-forward; in a way it reads as if one was watching a modern tv show in which action scenes quickly follow each other without much emphasis on eloquence or indeed explanation of characters’ motivation for acting the way they do. That might not be a purely negative aspect though as if one engages his/her own imagination, the story reads very nicely, and the numerous action scenes and adventures are amusing to follow. On the other hand, Chrétien’s source comes across to me as more of a poetic endeavour in which it is worth to pay attention to the metaphors and complex feelings being communicated. To illustrate my points, the opening scene in which Gawain persuades Ywain to abandon his wife immediately after their marriage could be used. In the English version, we hear Gawain’s reasoning, then there is the conversation between the spouses in which they seem to understand each other’s points without much mutual emotional blackmailing and then they go their own way. Alundyne says: “If you don’t come by that day,/ you will lose my love forever.” In Chrétien’s story, she says: “Your leave I will / So grant, until a certain date, / But then my love will turn to hate, / That I bear you, you may be sure / If you should remain on / that shore Beyond the time that I shall set, /And I will keep my word yet; / Though you break yours, I will not.” I think there is a huge difference in the way Alundyne communicates her feelings in the two versions. In the first one, she gives clear instructions to Ywain and makes him understand that if he could not fulfil her requirements, she would be unable to wait for him forever. In Chrétien, Alundyne makes it obvious that if Ywain forgets about the deadline, he will not only lose her love, but her love will turn into hate and such hate could never go away. I think that such examples demonstrate what we have already mentioned last week: that Chrétien’s story gives more emphasis to love. In this regard, I must agree with Kateřina that Chrétien’s ending seems a bit anticlimactic or incomplete.
I would also like to mention that Lunet is for me the most wonderful character of the story. The girl is clever and resourceful and a bit of deus ex machina. She is a much more active character than Alundyne and always pushes people around her into taking the right decisions.