Presentation on theme: "Tennysons Idylls of the King The Concluding Idylls: Pelleas and Ettare The Last Tournament Guinevere The Passing of Arthur."— Presentation transcript:
Tennysons Idylls of the King The Concluding Idylls: Pelleas and Ettare The Last Tournament Guinevere The Passing of Arthur
Pelleas and Ettare Tennyson's source for "Pelleas and Ettare" was Malory, who had himself adapted the story from the Post- Vulgate Cycle. In an ironic echo of Gareth and Lynette, the young, idealistic Pelleas meets and falls in love with the lady Ettare. She thinks him a fool, but treats him well at first because she wishes to hear herself proclaimed the Queen of Beauty at the tournament. For Pelleas' sake, Arthur declares it a Tournament of Youth, barring his veteran warriors.
Pelleas wins the title and circlet for Ettare, who immediately ends her kindness to him. He follows her to her castle, where for a sight of her he docilely allows himself to be bound and maltreated by her knights, although he can and does overthrow them all. Gawain observes this one day with outrage. He offers to court Ettare for Pelleas, and for this purpose borrows his arms and shield. When admitted to the castle, he announces that he has killed Pelleas.
Three nights later, Pelleas enters the castle in search of Gawain. He passes a pavilion of Ettares knights, asleep, and then a pavilion of her maidens, and then comes to a pavilion where he finds Ettare in Gawains arms. He leaves his sword across their throats to show that, if not for Chivalry, he could have killed them. When Ettare wakes, she curses Gawain. Her love turns to Pelleas, and she pines away. Disillusioned with Arthurs court, Pelleas leaves Camelot to become the Red Knight in the North I have no sword! Note the rise of animal imagery
I saw him there Let the fox bark, let the wolf yell. Who yells Here in the still sweet summer night, but I I, the poor Pelleas whom she called her fool? Fool, beast he, she, or I? myself most fool; Beast too, as lacking human wit disgraced, Dishonoured all for trial of true love Love? we be all alike: only the King Hath made us fools and liars. O noble vows! O great and sane and simple race of brutes That own no lust because they have no law! For why should I have loved her to my shame? I loathe her, as I loved her to my shame. I never loved her, I but lusted for her Away He dashed the rowel into his horse, And bounded forth and vanished through the night.
The Last Tournament Guinevere had once fostered an infant found by Arthur and Lancelot n an eagles nest, who had a ruby necklace wrapped around its neck. After the child died, Guinevere gave the jewels to Arthur to make a tournament prize. However, before the tournament, a mutilated peasant stumbles into the hall. He was tortured by the Red Knight in the North, who has set up a parody of the Round Table with lawless knights and harlots. Arthur delegates the judging of the Tournament to Lancelot and takes a company to purge the evil. The Tournament of the Dead Innocence becomes a farce, full of discourtesies, broken rules, and insults.
Sir Tristram wins the rubies. Breaking tradition, he rudely declares to the ladies that the Queen of Beauty is not present. Arthurs fool, Dagonet, mocks Tristram. In the north, meanwhile, Arthurs knights, too full of rage and disgust to heed their King, trample the Red Knight, massacre his men and women, and set his tower ablaze. Tristram gives the rubies to Queen Isolt, Marks wife, who is furious that he has married Isolt of Brittany. They taunt each other, but at the last he puts the necklace about her neck and bends to kiss her. At that moment Mark rises up behind him and splits his skull. Dagonet clings to Arthurs legs.
Guinevere Guinevere has fled to the convent at Almesbury. On the night that she and Lancelot had determined to part forever, Morded, tipped off by Vivien, watched and listened with witnesses to their farewells. Guinevere rejects Lancelot's offer of sanctuary in his castle overseas, choosing instead to take anonymous shelter in the convent. She is befriended by a little novice. But when rumors of war between Arthur and Lancelot and Modred's usurption reach the convent, the novice's careless chatter pricks the Queen's conscience. She describes to Guinevere the glorious kingdom in her father's day, "before the coming of the sinful Queen." The King comes. She hears his steps and falls on her face. He stands over her and grieves over her, himself, and his kingdom, reproaches her, and forgives her. She watches him leave and repents, hoping they will be reunited in heaven. She serves in the abbey, is later chosen Abbess, and dies three years later.
The Passing of Arthur You should know that this section of the Idylls is a much expanded and altered version of Tennyson's earlier poem Morte d'Arthur. The Epic In the disastrous last battle, Arthur kills Modred, and, in turn, receives a mortal wound. The entire Round Table has been killed with the exception of Sir Bedivere, who carries the King to a church (Avalon), where Arthur first received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake.
Arthur orders Bedivere to throw the sword into the lake in order to fulfill a prophecy written on the blade. Sir Bedivere resists twice, but on the third time obeys and is rewarded by the sight of an arm "clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful" rising from the water to catch the sword. This was the lady of the lake. Sir Bedivere returns to Arthur in the church and tells him what he saw. Arthur believes him and passes with Sir Bedivere watching, as the new sun rises on a new year.