Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Pre-Raphaelite Fascination with Arthuriana

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers

The Lady of Shalott.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

I hope nobody compares themselves to the Lady of Shalott. Her story is so sad and tortured, one just has to feel for her. She offers her life to the man she loves, who has given her good reason that he loves her back. I mean, come on. If you give a girl good reason, at least make an effort. But when Elaine of Astolat begs him to stay and marry her, he refuses due to his love for Guinevere (Arthur's wife). First of all, Elaine should never have begged. I bet he was giving her some hints, like not answering her calls, maybe not texting her back all the time, hanging out with the guys late at night, coming in with lipstick on the collar, and the scent of Calvin Klein's "F&S" (fine and smooth) hanging in the air. She should have guessed. Second of all, Lancelot totally led her on. I mean, we all know those Frenchmen; they like the chase. They toy with you, they say they love you, they say you're the only one they'll ever want, and then they leave you. Even still, it doesn't mean you have to go throw yourself in a boat, play dead, and float in front of his castle. I mean, come on Elaine! It's not going to bring him back. If anything, it's going to bring you a restraining order. I understand where you're coming from, I really do. But couldn't you have at least exacted revenge? Everyone in history feels so bad for you, when you could have just stuck up for yourself and maybe found love elsewhere. Mordred, perhaps?