Thursday, 9 August 2018

QUEEN GUINEVERE: ADULTERY IN THE MIDDLE AGE

Queen Guinevere
Today, The Grandma has studied a new lesson of her Intermediate Language Practice manual (Chapter 43). She's sad because she has received some tragic news about a closer person who has passed away. Life is strange some times and you have no words to explain how you feel when you receive some terrible news like this.

It's difficult to say something and because of this, The Grandma evokates a beautiful quote that says Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. The line is from Gertrude Stein's poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays.


Guinevere, often written as Guenevere or Gwenevere, is the wife of King Arthur in Arthurian legend. She first appears as Guanhumara in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, a pseudo-historical chronicle of British history written circa 1136.

In medieval romances, one of the most prominent story arcs is Queen Guinevere's tragic love affair with her husband's chief knight, Lancelot. This story first appeared in Chrétien de Troyes's Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart and became a motif in Arthurian literature, starting with the Lancelot-Grail of the early 13th century and carrying through the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

Queen Guinevere
Guinevere and Lancelot's betrayal of Arthur preceded his eventual defeat at the Battle of Camlann by Mordred.

The original Welsh form of the name Gwenhwyfar or Gwenhwyvar, which seems to be cognate with the Irish name Findabair, can be translated as The White Enchantress or The White Fay/Ghost, from Proto-Celtic.

Geoffrey of Monmouth rendered her name as Guanhumara in Latin, though there are many spelling variations found in the various manuscripts of his Historia Regum Britanniae. The name is given as Guennuuar in Caradoc's Vita Gildae, while Gerald of Wales refers to her as Wenneuereia. In the 15th-century Middle Cornish play Bewnans Ke, she was called Gwynnever. A cognate name in Modern English is Jennifer, from Cornish.

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, she is described as one of the great beauties of Britain, descended from a noble Roman family and educated under Cador, Duke of Cornwall.

More information: King Arthur Knights

In one of the Welsh Triads, there are three Gwenhwyfars married to King Arthur. The first is the daughter of Cywryd of Gwent, the second of Gwythyr ap Greidawl, and the third of (G)ogrfan Gawr the Giant. In a variant of another Welsh Triad, the daughter of Gogfran Gawr is mentioned. Two other Triads mention Gwenhwyfar's contention with her sister Gwenhwyfach, which was believed to be the cause of the Battle of Camlann. In the mid-late 12th-century Welsh folktale Culhwch and Olwen, she is mentioned alongside Gwenhwyfach.

Queen Guinevere
Guinevere is childless in most stories, two exceptions being Perlesvaus and the Alliterative Morte Arthure. In the latter text, Guinevere willingly becomes Mordred's consort and bears him two sons, though this is implied rather than stated in the text. There were mentions of Arthur's sons in the Welsh Triads, though their exact parentage is not clear.

Other family relations are equally obscure. A half-sister and a brother play the antagonistic roles in the Lancelot–Grail and the German romance Diu Crône respectively, but neither character is mentioned elsewhere.

Welsh tradition remembers the queen's sister Gwenhyvach and records the enmity between them. While later literature almost always named Leodegrance as Guinevere's father, her mother was usually unmentioned, although she was sometimes said to be dead; this is the case in the Middle English romance The Awntyrs off Arthure, The Adventures of Arthur, in which the ghost of Guinevere's mother appears to her daughter and Gawain in Inglewood Forest. Other works name cousins of note, though these do not usually appear in more than one place.

Guinevere has been portrayed as everything from a weak and opportunistic traitor to a fatally flawed but noble and virtuous lady. In Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, she is praised for her intelligence, friendliness, and gentility, while in Marie de France's Lanval, and Thomas Chestre's Middle English version, Sir Launfal, she is a vindictive adulteress, disliked by the protagonist and all well-bred knights. 

More information: Arthurian Legend

Early chronicles tend to portray her inauspiciously or hardly at all, while later authors use her good and bad qualities to construct a deeper character who played a larger role. 

The works of Chrétien were some of the first to elaborate on the character Guinevere beyond simply the wife of Arthur. This was likely due to Chrétien's audience at the time, the court of Marie of France, Countess of Champagne, which was composed of courtly ladies who played highly social roles.

More information: Early British Kingdoms


Respect is to be earned.
It cannot be bought with blood.

Queen Guinevere

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