A knight (Arveragus) falls in love with a charming lady (Dorigen). With great joy, they vow to dedicate their lives to one another by remaining loyal and obedient. Arveragus, leaves to train in Britain which causes Dorigen, immense grief. She learns how to break past her sorrow, but her friends notice that the shore brings back her sadness so they take her to a beautiful garden.
no more rocks!
A young squire confesses his love to Dorigen. She is a faithful wife, so she agrees to love Aurelius (the squire) back if he manages to clear every rock from the shore. Being a virtually impossible task, Aurelius is corrupt with despair. The young squire prays to the Sun and Moon gods for their assistance, begging for a way to overcome this ridiculous challenge.
The squire's brother notices how devastated Aurelius is, so he informs his brother of a talented magician in Orleans. Aurelius and his brother go to visit the magician and are amazed by his abilities to project things that aren't really there. He agrees to help Aurelius visually fool Brittany that all of the rocks have been moved for 1,000 pounds.
The magician removes all rocks from the shore so Aurelius approaches Dorigen; she is horrified because she did not think it was possible to complete her insane task. She weeps for days until her husband returns and tells her he will die for her to keep he word. Aurelius is too fond of Dorigen to make her live in misery; he would rather she be happy with her husband, so he sets her free.
Aurelius feels entirely defeated. Not only did he lose the woman he loved, but now he owes the magician 1,000 pounds that he doesn't have. With great sorrow, he confesses to the wizard that he will only be able to pay 500 pounds up front and then become a poor beggar for the rest of his life. The magician requests the squire to tell him the reasoning behind the removal of the shore rocks.
The young squire shares his story to the magician; he explains that Arveragus would have preferred to die then have his wife break her promise. Aurelius felt too guilty to enforce that pain upon Dorigen, so he retreats and lets her live happily with her husband. The magician was impressed with the nobility of each of the men, so he withdrew the 1,000 pound fine.