Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The Real Story Of Arthur And Guinevere

 There was a certain blogger whom I shall not name obsessed with "chivalry" and the story about King Arthur and Lancelot to quite an unhealthy degree, in my opinion; somehow suggesting that it (and not the cultural marxism) was responsible for the modern feminism.

However, this story is apparently only one version of what really happened, and a more recent one. I'm currently reading a book called The History Of The Kings Of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth which is considered to be the basis of all Arthurian legends and it presents a different tale.

Arthur himself is born of adultery, since his father Uther falls in love with Ygerna, the wife of one of his military leaders, Gorlois, and uses Merlin's sorcery to change into his likeness and seduce her. Gorlois dies in battle and Uther marries Ygerna and gets a son, which is very similar to the story of David and Bathsheba, except that the child doesn't die but grows up and becomes king.

After many victories, Arthur departs to Europe to fight the Romans and leaves the kingdom in charge of his nephew Mordred who then decides to place the crown on his own head and takes Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere, too. Arthur hears about it and returns to Britain where he kills Mordred but gets mortally wounded himself and is transported to Avalon. Guinevere feeling shame and guilt takes a vow of chastity and becomes a nun.

It's not exactly a story about chivalry and courtly love, is it? More like a cautionary tale about visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children...


  1. I agree that the whole Chivalry thing was way over dramatized. Not that there weren't stories that promoted an unhealthy version of chivalry, but you can look into every pagan tradition, culture and ancient mythology and find little glimpses of goddess worship that did little to upend entrenched, traditional, patriarchal society.

    Marxism got off the hook, but then, Marxism also seeks to destroy traditional sex roles, which makes women equal cogs in the machine, sends them out for a paycheck, and drastically reduces the chances of men having to pay much, if any, alimony.

    I don't think that was that blogger's point, but Warren Farrell (Myth of Male Power author and a major initiator of the men's rights movement) was all for sending women out there to bring their fair share of the bacon into the household.

  2. I didn't know it about Warren Farrell, but I'm not surprised.
    I think the original legend underwent a transformation when it reached France. French nobility seems to have had a custom of sharing their wives. I doubt it had much to do with chivalry though.