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Lecture

ENGB31

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Department
English
Course
ENGB31
Professor
Natalie Rose
Semester
Winter

Description
ENGB31_Feb6 Lady of the Lake  “the Lady of the Lake in the old legends is the Church” (n.16)  Camelot, “a city of shadowy palaces, is everywhere symbolic of the gradual growth of human beliefs and institutions, and of the spiritual development of man. Yet there is no single fact or incident in the ‘Idylls,’ however seemingly mystical, which cannot be explained as without any mystery or allegory whatever” (Tennyson) o Not saying the lady of the lake must be red o Secular and spiritual working together o The lady of the lake representing the church  “I hate to be tied down to say, ‘This means that,’ because the thought within  “Coming of Arthur” exploits legendary status of King Arthur to ask questions about evidence and truth  “The Holy Grail” investigates the subjectiveness of experience o percivale’s sister  Gawain o “Deafer,” said the blameless King, “Gawain, and blinder unto holy things Hope not to ake thyself by idle vows, Being too blind to have desire to see. (866-9)  Compare SGGK  no way better to be a Gawain than being Percivale’s siter o The entwinement of the worldly and the spiritual: compare Malory  This chance of noble deeds will come and go Unchallenged, while ye follow wandering fires Lost in the quagmire! (318-20).  “Ah, Galahad, Galahad,” said the king, “for such As thou art the vision, not for these” (293-4)  “’Those who have it not [religious enthusiasm] ought not to affect it.”  “Faith declines, religion in many turns form practical goodness to the quest after the supernatural and marvelous and selfish religious excitement. Few are those for whom the quest is a source of spiritual strength.” o The spiritual is a distraction of the real practical goodness o Rosiest the monk represents the religion  Not about death, about life  Percivale’s experiences, summarized in not 6: o “The gratification of sensual appetite brings Percivale no content. […] nor des wifely love and the love of the family. […] nor des wealth, which is worshipt by labour. […] nor does glory, […] nor does Fame” o Compare Percivale’s re-meeting his childhood sweetheart with Malory’s Percival’s test. Are they analogous?  “thou shalt be as Arthur in our land” (605)  humanizes Percivale and makes it more realistic  fundamentally human o Grail quest is opposed to fundamental human ties o Malory’s emphasizes the fundamental of humanness; human needs and continuation of life  Line 606-611 o  Apple, spring, woman, baby all turn to dust  Ambrosius’s perspective of the “miracles and marvels” o Suggest that they are very cold; compared to the ordinary romance of human life  Bors sees the frail o A “mocking fire” (667)? o Tennyson’s note: “It might have been a meteor”!  Devalue the marvelous aspect of the holy grail  Recasting it in scientific and realistic terms; anti romance; goes against the biblical term o “In color like fingers of a hand/ Before a burning taper” (690-1)  combination of the very fleshy and the spiritual o But if indeed there came a sign form heaven, Blessed are Bors, Lancelot and Percivale, For these have seen according to their sight. […] and as ye saw it ye have spoken truth. (870-7) Lancelot  P.769-774  No one can be perfect  Even highest values will cling to and entwine with sin; that’s what it means to be human  900-917 o “the king must guard that which he rules, and is but as the hind[…] Who may not wander from the allotted field before his work be done; but, being done, Let cisions of the night or of the day come, as they will; and many a time they come […] o argument to duty Malory’s “The Tale of Sir Gareth” and Tennyson’s “Gareth and Lynette”  “and I pray all you that redyth this tale to pray for hum that this wrote that God sende hym good delyveraunce sone and hastely. Amen. Here endyth the tale of sir Gareth of Orkeney”  no single source o fair unknown romances o Gawain romances  Gareth, Gawain, and Launcelot o “of all the knights of the Round Table, it was Sir Launcelot who was Sir Gareth’s chosen companion; and as he discovered the impetuous character of his brother, Sir Gawain, he came to avoid him, for fear that otherwise he might be provoked to injure or even to kill him” o p129  Gawain is sensing a biological kinship with Beaumains (Gareth his brother) o Gareth chooses to accompany Lancelot over his brother o Fellowship is being counterpointed to kinship  Gareth is separate himself from his brother
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