Human Agreements In The Mabinogi And The Tain

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In the Mabinogi and the Tain the idea of agreements is perhaps one of the strongest driving themes in both sets of tales. They are meant to portray the complexity of human interaction, and how the Celtic performed mutual business and the alleviation of transgression. It also showed that these deals have the possibility of failing and increasing tensions. Without the settlements and how the characters in the stories handled them the progression written would not be possible. They are usually brokered between two parties, and could result in the exchanging of riches, land, kingdoms, magical artifacts, and even people. They could be affected by other settlements too, and the mixing of these parties usually created an unforeseen scenario that…show more content…
Ailill and Medb, rulers of Connacht, decide to compare their wealth and see who has more. They found that the only difference was the magically fertile bull, Finnbhenach, who left Medb because she was a woman. To match the bull she sought to obtain another one named Don Cualinge, and was able to negotiate borrowing the bull, but her drunk messengers state they would have taken it anyway if consent had not been given. This causes the deal to shatter and forces Medb to resort to conquest for the bull. Due to the illness contracted by the Ulsters, Cu Chulainn must stop the army by declaring single combat. This duel last months as Chulainn slaughters soldier after soldier until Medb breaks the agreement and sends the entire army at him. Agreements with otherworld beings are made in this as well, as Chulainn rejects the love of the Morrigan, but agrees to heal with sips of milk after the battle. After Chulainn receives a blessing from his true father Lugh and slaughters the majority of Medb’s forces, his foster father Fergus forces him to retreat after promising he will do the same for Chulainn next time they meet. In the final moments of the war, Chulainn appears before Fergus again and forces him to retreat on the previous agreement. With Fergus gone Medb’s forces run out of options and are forced to retreat, but not before she gets the

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