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Friday, April 23, 2010

Assessment of the Idylls so far

Up to this point, the idylls have provided an interesting depiction of what has happened in Arthur's kingdom.  "The Coming of Arthur" represents order being restored with Arthur's placement on the throne and his marriage with Guinevere.  Because order has been restored, man manages to overcome life's obstacles in "Gareth and Lynette."  However, the first seeds of discord are sown in the Geraint idylls, where the sin of Guinevere and Lancelot is first mentioned, causing Geraint to doubt his wife.  Then, we go from the talk of sin to a view of a compromising situation in "Balin and Balan," leaving the kingdom vulnerable.   That vulnerability, though Arthur proves himself pure, opens the way for evil to gain greater power by essentially killing wisdom in "Merlin and Vivien."  At this point, man is in a downward spiral that will likely end tragically.

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