- Morgan le Fay
/mawr"geuhn leuh fay"/, Celtic and Arthurian Legend.the fairy sister of King Arthur.Also, Morgain le Fay.
* * *("Morgan the Fairy") Enchantress in Arthurian legend.Skilled in the arts of healing and changing shape, she ruled Avalon, the island where King Arthur retreated to be healed of his wounds after his last battle. She had learned her magic powers from books and from Merlin. In other stories she is Arthur's sister and enemy, and seduces him to produce a son who later kills Arthur.
* * *▪ legendary figurefairy enchantress of Arthurian legend and romance.Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini (c. 1150) named her as the ruler of Avalon, a marvelous island where King Arthur was to be healed of his wounds, and it described her as skilled in the arts of healing and of changing shape. In Chrétien de Troyes's romance of Erec (c. 1165), she first appeared as King Arthur's sister. In 12th- and 13th-century elaborations of Arthurian legend, two themes, of healing and of hostility (owing to unrequited love), were developed: in the early 13th-century Vulgate cycle, for example, she was responsible for stirring up trouble between Arthur and his queen, Guinevere, yet finally appeared as a beneficent figure conveying Arthur to Avalon. Her magic powers were explained as learned from books and from the enchanter Merlin. Although later versions of the legend placed Arthur's death in a Christian context, traditions of a living Arthur being tended by Morgan le Fay (until the time should come for him to return to his kingdom) survived in some 13th- and 14th-century texts, many of them associated with Sicily—perhaps taken there by Norman conquerors—where the term Fata Morgana is still used to designate a mirage sometimes seen in the Strait of Messina.
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