Guinevere

Guinevere
/gwin"euh vear'/, n.
1. Arthurian Romance. wife of King Arthur and mistress of Lancelot.
2. a female given name.

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▪ legendary queen of Britain
      wife of Arthur, legendary king of Britain, best known in Arthurian romance through the love that his knight Sir Lancelot bore for her. In early Welsh literature, one Gwenhwyvar was “the first lady of this island”; in Geoffrey of Monmouth's inventive Historia regum Britanniae (early 12th century), she was named Guanhumara and was presented as a Roman lady. In some accounts it was suggested that she was Arthur's (Arthur) second wife.

      An early tradition of abduction (and infidelity) surrounded the figure of Guinevere. According to the late 11th- or early 12th-century Vita Gildae, she was carried off by Melwas, king of Aestiva Regio (literally, “Summer Region”), to be rescued by Arthur and his army. In Chrétien de Troyes's (Chrétien de Troyes) late 12th-century romance of Le Chevalier de la charette, she was rescued by Lancelot (a character whom Chrétien had earlier named as one of Arthur's knights) from the land of Gorre, to which she had been taken by Meleagant (a version of the story that was incorporated in the 13th-century prose Vulgate cycle). Chrétien presented her as one receiving or refusing love in the manner of ladies celebrated in courtly love lyrics. There and in the early part of the Vulgate cycle, courtly love was exalted through the passion of Lancelot and Guinevere; but, in the austerely spiritual part of the Vulgate cycle, the Queste del Saint Graal, their adulterous love stood condemned, and Lancelot was unable to look directly at the Holy Grail because of it.

      In the early chronicles and later in prose Arthurian romances, Guinevere was abducted by Mordred, Arthur's nephew (or, in some versions, his son), and this action was closely bound up with the death of Arthur and the end of the knightly fellowship of the Round Table. In the early accounts Guinevere was not unwilling; but, in Sir Thomas Malory's late 15th-century prose Le Morte Darthur, she became an unhappy victim as far as Mordred was concerned, though she was given her share of responsibility for the final disasters because her love for Lancelot had caused such bitter dissension.

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  • Guinevere — was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. She was most famous for her love affair with Arthur s chief knight Sir Lancelot, which first appears in Chrétien de Troyes Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart . This motif was picked up in all the… …   Wikipedia

  • Guinevere — ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Namensträgerinnen 3 Fiktive Personen 4 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guinevere — f English: from the Old French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar, composed of the elements gwen white, fair, blessed, holy + hwyfar smooth, soft. It is famous as the name of King Arthur s beautiful wife, who in most versions of the Arthurian… …   First names dictionary

  • Guinevere — fem. proper name, from Welsh Gwenhwyvar, lit. white cheeked …   Etymology dictionary

  • Guinevere — [gwin′əvərgwin′ə vir΄] n. [< Celt; first element < Welsh gwen, white] 1. a feminine name 2. Arthurian Legend the wife of King Arthur and lover of Lancelot: Also Guinever [gwin′əvər] …   English World dictionary

  • Guinevere — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Guinevere est la forme anglaise de Guenièvre, prénom de la dame du roi Arthur. C est un équivalent du prénom Geneviève. Sommaire 1 Astronomie 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guinevere — noun (Arthurian legend) wife of King Arthur; in some versions of the legend she became Lancelot s lover and that led to the end of the Knights of the Round Table • Syn: ↑Guenevere • Topics: ↑Arthurian legend • Instance Hypernyms: ↑fictional… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Guinevere — noun Date: 15th century the wife of King Arthur and mistress of Lancelot …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Guinevere — noun /ˈɡwɪ.nɪ.wɪə/ a) of Welsh origin. b) In Arthurian legend, the wife of King Arthur. See Also: Gaynor, Ginevra, Jennifer …   Wiktionary

  • GUINEVERE —    the wife of King Arthur; the most beautiful of women, conceived a guilty passion for Lancelot, one of Arthur s knights, and married Modred, her husband s nephew, in the latter s absence on an expedition against the Romans, on hearing of which… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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