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The Once and Future King

Description of Guenever

Guenever is one whose personality and appearance fluctuates

often during the course of her life. The facts that she fell in love with someone other than her husband and that she never bore a child

contributes greatly to these abrupt and drastic changes.

The description of Guenever as a young wife is one with deep,

clear blue eyes, which almost beheld a sort of fearlessness which was

startling, as was her black hair. Although Gwen was quite fond of her

husband, she found herself taken a fancy to the young knight, Lancelot. She admired his broken face and found herself falling in love. She loved both Lance and Arthur. She felt respect with gratitude, kindness, love and a sense of protection, but there was no romance felt in her relationship with the King.

Gwen is said to have been clumsy when under pressure and

lacking knowledge to ache or swell, selfishness indecently exposed, an

inability to settle down, pert arguments on abstract subjects and a lack of exof the world. Like most 22 year olds, it was stated that Guenever had a chaos of the mind and body, a confusion and profusion of beliefs and hopes, the ability to be transported by the beauty of physical objects, a heart perience as to when truth should be suppressed in deference to the middle aged. On top of these, there were the broad and yet uncertain lines of her personal character-lines of less pathos, but more reality; lines of power.

It can be said that Gwen assumes the worst and often becomes

jealous in many episodes. Such as when Guenever discovered that

Lancelot was the father of Elaine s baby, she did not believe his

explanation and became furious. She claims that Lance betrayed her,

that she was the victim of Elaine s cunning and that she d never be able to trust Lancelot again. Perhaps in her heart she was jealous of the baby that was not born to her.

As Guenever began to age, she became restless, more

unreasonable and much more cruel, similar to the personality of Lance. Her three virtues were that of Courage, Generosity, and Honesty, which remained with her through her life time. When Lance was gone, she became wretched. At 40, Gwen was a splendid figure, yet only two years later, she begins to badly apply unneeded makeup and to over dress. Lance still saw her as the passionate spirit of innocent youth, who was now beleaguered by old age. In his eyes, she was still his Jenny. Guenever had lost her rattled look. For more than a year the Queen was petulant, cruel, contradictory and miserable. Now she was pleased with anything and did not hurt the servants. Gwen seemed to be one of those selfish women who insisted on ruling everything. As Gwen grew older

and older, she became more beautiful, sanguine, hot tempered,

demanding, impulsive, acquisitive, and charming-she portrayed all of the qualities of a man eating lioncelle , but she wasn t promiscuous. There was never anyone in her life except Lancelot and Arthur and she never ate anyone but these.

Guenever is also what they used to call a real person, for she could not be labeled. She behaved like herself and was sincere from her heart, since she had Lancelot and Arthur. The qualities of pity, the faculty to look short life in the face, comradeship, tenderness and Gwen s three virtues are the qualities that explain why Guenever took Lancelot as well as Arthur. The virtue of Courage was the reason more then anything, for the courage to take and give from the heart enabled her to love the two men.

Gwen s central tragedy was that she was childless. This may be another reason for her double love because she loved Arthur as a father and Lance as the son she could not have.

Guenever grew slowly, not less blooming, buy angrier. A storm

seemed to gather in her and the months of holiness when Lancelot

searched for the Holy Grail added together. In this scenario, holiness was equivalent to the selfishness to abandon another soul so as to save your own.

In Gwen s old age, she dressed like a gypsy, entertained like a lodging-house keeper and kept her lover a secret. She was a nuisance. Guenever was also indecisive in many accounts, especially dealing with Lancelot. For example, she first forbids Lance to go to Corbin. Then she changes her mind and demands him to go.

At one point in her life, Gwen began to look healthier and perhaps beautiful again due to the quarrels, but she got wrinkles and got a frightened look in her eyes. While waiting for the arrival of her beloved Lance on the night Mordred and Agravaine planned their evil scheme, she looked singularly lovely, like a woman who had grown a soul. Towards the end, Guenever no longer appeared young or lovely.

It is evident to say, being that Guenever went through much in her life time as a double lover and a childless woman, that she was

accustomed to an up and down life style with much change in her

personality and appearance. Indecision on what way to turn and whom

she truly loved is what made this Queen s life one of much change and


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