my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

8.15.2005

Guinevere

A most important female symbol in the Arthurian myths, Guinevere is betrothed to Arthur early in his career. He later sends Sir Lancelot to bring her to Camelot, and although Guinevere and Lancelot fell in love on the return journey, upon reaching Camelot she fulfills her duty and marries Arthur, yet continues the affair.

Neither the Queen nor the Knight is able or willing to leave the other; their love divides the kingdom and is blamed for the downfall of the chivalric Round Table society.

Guinevere does have her defenders. William Morris (who designed the stained glass illustration in this post) is the first to give the Queen her own voice in his poetry, thus beginning a tradition that is continued in Sara Teasdale's poem "Guenevere," Dorothy Parker's "Guinevere at Her Fireside," and Wendy Mnookin's collection, "Guenever Speaks."

It is possible to go deeper into the meaning of Guinevere, especially in the context of feminist thought. Some studies use her as an archetype with parallels in Greek, Roman and Celtic mythology, an example of the female exerting free will and its consequences, or of the contrast of free will and subordination (Guinevere is sometimes compared to Persephone, captured for marriage in Hades, which results in winter dominating the earth, but who escapes for brief times to enable the earth to experience spring and summer).

Accounts of Guinevereā€™s death vary. Some authors write that she withdrew to an abbey where she spent her final years.


And why did I blog on this today? Oh, because I wanted to. Pretty soon I'm going to have to write all kinds of things that I don't want to write so for now I want to be free, free, free!

Today's fragrance: Gres Cabaret, that perky citrusy-woodsy rose, in honor of J, who will soon receive her AOK packages in beautiful Florida. Land of velour jogging suits and perennial tans.

11 Comments:

Blogger Dr O2 said...

Heavy price for Love...

yet the question remains; how far should one go for love...

P.S: interestin post of diff nature.

12:09 PM

 
Blogger AP3 said...

So you're a student, eh?

I love stained glass.

3:14 PM

 
Blogger actonbell said...

Woohoo! I'm glad you're free, and wrote this--I had no idea there was so much written about Guinevere. Most interesting:)

3:41 PM

 
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I think it's fairly obvious: Women are the root of all evil.

Poor ol' Adam couldn't possibly resist that apple. Eve's fault there. Poor ol' Lancelot couldn't be expected to resist wily Guinevere. Her fault for sure.
Then there's Pandora. There she went and released all evil to spread over the entire world. Never mind who the heck put all the evil in that box in the first place. Nope. Pandora's fault.

Since women have all this power over men and evil, I was just wonderin' why haven't we taken over the world yet? Maybe just a country? How 'bout a small town? The little block I live on?

I hope Guinevere is proud of herself. I know I'm proud of her. Way to go G! Bring the house down.

5:39 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

yeah, YEAH! xoxoxo

5:45 PM

 
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7:52 PM

 
Blogger Tom & Icy said...

Those legends have always fascinated me. I often wondered how real the characters were.

9:05 PM

 
Blogger Atreau said...

Great post M! You always wonder what others will or won't do for love. We all have our boundries or lack of them.

1:20 AM

 
Blogger Jonniker said...

Mmm, I loved this post. And PS, I can't wait to get myself a new velour jumpsuit! ooh ooh, or maybe a swishy one that makes noises when I walk.

5:02 AM

 
Blogger ParisLondres said...

Thank for this post. I love what tan lucy pez wrote!

xoxo

5:34 AM

 
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I love those legends, and Guinevere fascinated me. It is interesting how many interpretations there are. What I recently found out is that the name itself comes from Welsh Gwenhwyvar, literaly meaning "white-cheeked."

7:47 AM

 

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