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Guinevere

Guinevere

Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur, the legendary ruler of Britain. She was a beautiful and noble queen, but her life took a tragic turn when she fell in love with Lancelot, one of Arthur's bravest and most loyal knights. The relationship between the queen and Lancelot eventually destroyed the special fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table.

Guinevere was the daughter of King Leodegran of Scotland. Arthur admired the king's lovely daughter and married her in spite of a warning from his adviser Merlin that Guinevere would be unfaithful to him. As a wedding gift, Leodegran gave Arthur a round table that would play a central role in his court.

After the marriage, Guinevere became acquainted with Lancelot, who performed various deeds to honor and rescue her. At first, Arthur took no notice of the growing attachment between the queen and Lancelot. Later, however, the king was forced to accuse his wife of adultery and to fight her lover. Several violent battles between Arthur and Lancelot followed, with groups of knights joining in on each side. Eventually, Guinevere returned to Arthur.

Another group of legends concerning Guinevere show the queen in a more loyal role. In these tales, King Arthur left his nephew Mordred in charge of the kingdom during a military campaign. Mordred began to plot against Arthur, planning to marry Guinevere and take over as ruler of Britain. The queen refused to cooperate with Mordred and locked herself in the Tower of London to avoid marrying him. When Arthur returned to reclaim his throne, the two men fought. Arthur killed Mordred but was fatally wounded.

Following the death of Arthur, Guinevere entered a convent, where she spent the rest of her life praying and helping the poor. Filled with remorse for the trouble she and her lover had caused, she vowed never to see Lancelot again. When Guinevere died, she was buried beside King Arthur.

adultery sexual relationship between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse

See also Arthur, King; Arthurian Legends; Camelot; Lancelot; Merlin; Round Table.

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Guinevere

Guinevere (gwĬn´əvĬr´, gwĕn´–), in Arthurian legend, wife of King Arthur. Her illicit and tragic love for Sir Launcelot, which foreshadowed the downfall of Arthur's kingdom, ends with her retirement to a convent. She also figures in several early romances and Celtic legends, her name appearing in various forms (e.g., Guanhamara, Gvenour, and Gwenhwyfars). In different versions of the Arthurian story her name appears as Guenevere and Guinever.

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Guinevere

Guinevere in Arthurian legend, the wife of King Arthur and lover of Lancelot. In the Arthurian cycle she is seen through her love for Lancelot as one of the key figures in the ultimate destruction of Arthur's kingdom, by providing an opening which can be exploited by the traitor Mordred. Guinevere, who survives her husband's death, traditionally repented her sins and became a nun.

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Guinevere

Guinevere In Arthurian legend, King Arthur's queen who was loved by Lancelot of the Lake. In Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur she betrayed the king, and was sentenced to die. She was rescued by Lancelot and later restored to Arthur.

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Guinevere

Guinevere •astrantia • Bastia •Dei gratia, hamartia •poinsettia •in absentia, Parmentier •Izvestia •meteor, wheatear •Whittier • cottier • Ostia •consortia, courtier •protea • Yakutia • frontier • Althea •Anthea • Parthia •Pythia, stichomythia •Carinthia, Cynthia •forsythia • Scythia • clothier • salvia •Latvia • Yugoslavia • envier •Flavia, Moldavia, Moravia, Octavia, paviour (US pavior), Scandinavia, Xavier •Bolivia, Livia, Olivia, trivia •Sylvia • Guinevere • Elzevir •Monrovia, Segovia •Retrovir • effluvia • colloquia •Goodyear • yesteryear • brassiere •Abkhazia •Anastasia, aphasia, brazier, dysphasia, dysplasia, euthanasia, fantasia, Frazier, glazier, grazier, gymnasia, Malaysiaamnesia, anaesthesia (US anesthesia), analgesia, freesia, Indonesia, Silesia, synaesthesia •artemisia, Kirghizia, Tunisiaambrosia, crozier, hosier, osier, symposia

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Guinevere

Guinevere ★★★ 1999 (R)

Harper (Polley) is an uncertain, inexperienced 20-year-old in San Francisco who ditches family responsibilites at her sister's wedding reception in order to talk to forty-something photographer Connie Fitzpatrick (Rea). Worldly wise and a natural charmer, Connie soon has Harper as his latest “Guinevere,” the innocent young women he beds and nurtures until they outgrow the need for his guidance. Harper certainly doesn't seem to have much personality on her own but Connie also needs something of a lifeline as his drinking in-creases while his job prospects decline. Polished production with compelling performances by both Polley and Rea. 104m/C VHS, DVD . Stephen Rea, Sarah Polley, Jean Smart, Gina Gershon, Paul Dooley, Francis Guinan, Jasmine Guy, Sandra Oh, Emily Procter, Gedde Watanabe; D: Audrey Wells; W: Audrey Wells; C: Charles Minsky; M: Christophe Beck. Sundance ‘99: Screenplay.

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Guinevere

Guinevere

Nationality/Culture

Romano-British/Celtic

Pronunciation

GWEN-uh-veer

Alternate Names

None

Appears In

Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, tales of King Arthur

Lineage

Daughter of King Leodegrance of Scotland

Character Overview

Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur , the legendary ruler of Britain. She was a beautiful and noble queen, but her life took a tragic turn when she fell in love with Lancelot , one of Arthur's bravest and most loyal knights. The relationship between the queen and Lancelot eventually destroyed the special fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table.

Guinevere was the daughter of King Leodegrance (pronounced lee-oh-duh-GRANTZ) of Scotland. Arthur admired the king's lovely daughter and married her in spite of a warning from his adviser Merlin that Guinevere would be unfaithful to him. As a wedding gift, Leodegrance gave Arthur a round table that would play a central role in his court.

After the marriage, Guinevere became acquainted with Lancelot, who performed various deeds to honor and rescue her. At first, Arthur took no notice of the growing attachment between the queen and Lancelot. Later, however, the king accused his wife of being unfaithful, and had to fight her lover. Several violent batdes between Arthur and Lancelot followed, with groups of knights joining in on each side. Eventually, Guinevere returned to Arthur.

Another group of legends concerning Guinevere show the queen in a more loyal role. In these tales, King Arthur left his nephew Mordred in charge of the kingdom during a military campaign. Mordred began to plot against Arthur, planning to marry Guinevere and take over as ruler of Britain. The queen refused to cooperate with Mordred and locked herself in the Tower of London to avoid marrying him. When Arthur returned to reclaim his throne, the two men fought. Arthur killed Mordred but was fatally wounded.

Following the death of Arthur, Guinevere entered a convent, where she spent the rest of her life praying and helping the poor. Filled with remorse for the trouble she and her lover had caused, she vowed never to see Lancelot again. When Guinevere died, she was buried beside King Arthur.

Guinevere in Context

The story of Guinevere can be seen as a reflection of medieval European beliefs about adultery. The affair between Guinevere and Lancelot is the root cause of the fall of Camelot , since all other events leading to Arthur's downfall stem from this betrayal. Guinevere is typically portrayed more negatively than Lancelot, suggesting that women— especially married women—were expected to live by a higher moral standard than the men of the time.

Key Themes and Symbols

Throughout the myths of King Arthur and his court, Guinevere represents both loyalty and betrayal. She is seen by the people of Camelot as a devoted supporter of her husband's deeds and ideas. Even after she betrays Arthur by having an affair with Lancelot, Guinevere regrets the betrayal and stays with Arthur, devoting herself to no other man even after his death.

Guinevere in Art, Literature, and Everyday Life

Guinevere appears in nearly every adaptation of the legend of King Arthur, including Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, T. H. White's The Once and Future King, and the Avalon series of novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley. On film, she has been played by actresses such as Ava Gardner, Vanessa Redgrave, and Keira Knighdey. Guinevere has also appeared as the main character in a number of works, including the Guinevere Trilogy novels by Persia Woolley and the television series Guinevere Jones (2002).

Read, Write, Think, Discuss

The story of Guinevere can be viewed as a tale that illustrates the dangers of unfaithfulness in a romantic relationship. This theme has appeared many times in books, films, and television shows. Can you think of a modern tale that focuses on this same theme? Describe the story, and compare it to the message found in the myth of Guinevere and Lancelot.

SEE ALSO Arthur, King; Arthurian Legends; Camelot; Lancelot; Merlin

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