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Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake, an enchantress also known as Viviane or Nimuë, appears in many of the tales of King Arthur. According to legend, she lived in a castle beneath a lake surrounding the mystical island of Avalon. She raised Lancelot and gave Arthur the magical sword Excalibur, which he treasured. When Arthur was near death, she saved him by taking him to Avalon.

Arthur's magician Merlin fell in love with the Lady of the Lake, but she did not return his affection. However, she did persuade him to teach her some of his magic. While the two were traveling together, the Lady of the Lake used the spells she learned from Merlin to imprison him in a tower with invisible walls (in some versions of the story she traps him in a tree or cave instead).

The Lady of the Lake was also associated with Pelleas, one of the knights of the Round Table. When Pelleas was rejected by Ettardthe woman he lovedthe Lady of the Lake took care of him. She and Pelleas fell in love and were married.

See also Arthur, King; Avalon; Excalibur; Lancelot; Merlin.

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Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake, in Arthurian legend, a misty, supernatural figure endowed with magic powers, who gave the sword Excalibur to King Arthur. She inhabited a castle in an underwater kingdom. According to one legend she kidnapped the infant Launcelot and brought him to her castle where he lived until manhood. She has been identified variously with Morgan le Fay and Vivien. The poem The Lady of the Lake, by Sir Walter Scott, is based on a totally different legend.

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