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Lyones  Lyones is offline
Join Date: 21 May 2004
Location: Perth Australia
Posts: 295

Originally posted by RedMaple
I want to read the Mysts of Avalon and the Da Vinci Code side by side -- two very different takes on the Grail legend.
I haven't read the whole of the Mists of Avalon yet, but what got me interested in the Grail legends was "Daughter of Tintagel" by Fay Sampson - essentially a story about Morgan told from different perspectives. The Da Vinci Code I enjoyed because it brought out things I hadn't thought about and got me researching bits and pieces.

Originally posted by WalesWoman
I like the Empress as a card, but I'm going to have to do some searching for Guenevere, as a person. I'm not feeling very sympathetic for her. Tho' who can control sometimes who makes your heart sing and who doesn't? ........ So perhaps to truly be mother of the land, she couldn't have any children of her own to distract her, so that she would pour her emotions more outward to the earth and all that get their sustenance from it ... but it's something that's bugged me.
I've just been speculating about Gwen & Arthur & Lance. Would it have been possible that Guenevere and Arthur's marriage was arranged for similar reasons explored in the 5 of Spears (bringing cultures, languages, religions together to protect the land and it's inhabitants ... possibly even his need for an heir)? We (well, I know I do) tend to see Medieval way of life from today's viewpoint and what constitutes a marriage, but it may have been very different back then. I think in not knowing too much about Arthur's time, it makes it all to easy to judge our characters on the cards by our own standards in the present (I can think of various cultural traditions which have been changed or tabooed to fit in with what is acceptable to modern society). I have not been able to find conclusive results about what it would have been like in Arthur's time with regard to handfasting and marriage, only that the 'till death do us part' was constituted by the church, and that, only towards the end of the Middle Ages? The 'marriages' though, from what I can understand, and I may be wrong, seem to have been by consent and stipulation of the agreement, and some even say that time periods could have been set to the arrangements. If Arthur was out fighting or making his presence known in the land, he may not have been spending much time in the role of fathering an heir, which doesn't give a woman expected to bear one much chance to fulfil her role in that aspect. Nonetheless, according to legend she was sexually active, and I think it would have been the most unlucky of circumstances if she were barren.

From a modernised standpoint, I can see why Guenevere would be judged for taking Lancelot as a lover ... but I'd like to play the devil's advocate here and just suggest that things may not have been so clear-cut in those days ... what we know as the norm today, may not have been categorically law ... going from the 'old ways' to the 'new' all in one life-time - what may have been valid one day, may not necessarily have been 'civilized' the next.

Although I'm relying mainly on fiction for a personal view of relationships back then, it seems to me that the old ways encouraged what most would see today as promiscuity, and yet, with no man-made directives to the contrary, why would it be otherwise? I imagine that festivities and sex were among the few pleasures of life ... and still are ... until the society in which they lived deemed that it should not be so, or regulated their choice of partner/s?

Anyway, just some thoughts on what may or may not have been ... enough rambling from me this evening
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