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Encyclopedia > Lady of the Lake
The Lady of the Lake taking the infant Lancelot. From Tennyson's Idylls of the King.
The Lady of the Lake taking the infant Lancelot. From Tennyson's Idylls of the King.

The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play integral parts in the Arthurian legend. These characters' roles include giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, taking the dying king to Avalon after the Battle of Camlann, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father. Different writers and copyists give her name variously as Nimue, Viviane, Niniane, Nyneve, and other variations. The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters in the Arthurian legend. ... Image File history File links La_Dame_du_Lac. ... Image File history File links La_Dame_du_Lac. ... Alfred, Lord Tennyson Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and is one of the most popular English poets. ... The Idylls of the King (1856 - 1885) are a cycle of poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that express the legend of King Arthur in terms of the psychology and concerns of nineteenth-century England. ... The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the legends that concern the Celtic and legendary history of the British Isles, centering around King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. ... A bronze Arthur in plate armour with visor raised and with jousting shield wearing Kastenbrust armour (early 15th century) by Peter Vischer, typical of later anachronistic depictions of Arthur. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword Excalibur into the Water. ... The Last Sleep of Arthur by Sir Edward Burne-Jones Avalon (probably from the Celtic word abal: apple; see Etymology below) is a legendary island somewhere in the British Isles, famous for its beautiful apples. ... Commanders King Arthur † Mordred † How Mordred was Slain by Arthur, and How by Him Arthur was Hurt to the Death, by Arthur Rackham Camlann redirects here. ... Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys (Merlin the Wise); also known as Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin the Wild), Merlin Caledonensis (Scottish Merlin), Merlinus, and Merlyn) is the personage best known as the mighty wizard featured in Arthurian legends, starting with Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniae. ... For other uses, see Lancelot (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Origins

The Lady of the Lake's origins are probably ancient and pagan, like Morgan le Fay's, and she and Morgan may have ultimately derived from the same tradition. The first mention of Avalon, a magical island with which the Lady and Morgan are frequently associated, is in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae; Geoffrey says Arthur's sword Caliburn was forged there, and says Arthur was taken to the isle after his battle with Mordred to have his wounds healed. Morgan le Fay, by Anthony Frederick Sandys (1829 - 1904), 1864 (Birmingham Art Gallery): A spell-brewing Morgaine distinctly of Tennysons generation Morgan le Fay, alternatively known as Morgaine, Morgain, Morgana and other variants, is a powerful sorceress and sometime antagonist of King Arthur and Guinevere in the Arthurian legend. ... The Last Sleep of Arthur by Sir Edward Burne-Jones Avalon (probably from the Celtic word abal: apple; see Etymology below) is a legendary island somewhere in the British Isles, famous for its beautiful apples. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Geoffrey of Monmouth Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. ... Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniæ (English: The History of the Kings of Britain) was written around 1136. ... How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword Excalibur into the Water. ... Mordred or Modred (Welsh: Medrawd, Latin: Medraut) is a character in the Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed and Arthur fatally wounded. ...


Chrétien de Troyes mentions in his romance Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart that Lancelot had been raised by a water fay who gave him a magic-resisting ring. Lancelot's life with the Lady of the Lake is detailed in the German Lanzelet by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven and the Prose Lancelot Proper, which was later expanded into the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. There, the Lady of the Lake fosters the infant Lancelot after his father Ban has been killed fighting against his enemy Claudas. It has been suggested that these three works are derived from a lost tradition of Lancelot, which is perhaps best preserved in Ulrich's version. Chrétien de Troyes wrote in Champagne, France, during the last half of the twelfth century. ... Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart (French: Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette) is an Old French poem by Chrétien de Troyes. ... by Sophie Anderson For other uses, see Fairy (disambiguation). ... Lanzelet is a medieval romance written by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven sometime after 1194. ... Lanzelet is a medieval romance written by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven sometime after 1194. ... The Lancelot-Grail, also known as the prose Lancelot, the Vulgate Cycle, or the Pseudo-Map Cycle, is a major source of Arthurian legend. ... The Lancelot-Grail, also known as the prose Lancelot, the Vulgate Cycle, or the Pseudo-Map Cycle, is a major source of Arthurian legend. ... In Arthurian legend, Ban is the King of Benwick or Benoic. ... King Claudas is a fictional Frankish king and an opponent to King Arthur, Lancelot, and Bors in Arthurian legend. ...


The character has some similarities to the sea nymph Thetis of Greek mythology. Like the Lady of the Lake, Thetis is an aquatic spirit who raises the greatest warrior of her time (in this case, her son Achilles). Thetis' husband is Peleus, while the Lady of the Lake takes the knight Pelleas as her lover in some versions. Thetis uses magic to make her son invulnerable to harm and later gives him a shield and armor forged by the god Hephaestus, while the Arthurian character gives Lancelot a ring that protects him from all magic and delivers Excalibur to the king. The Greek theme may have influenced or originated the tradition; the epic poem Iliad which features Thetis was popular both with the Romans, who occupied and colonized Great Britain and Brittany, and with the medieval scholars who wrote down the celtic myths and oral traditions. In Greek mythology, the Nereids (NEER-ee-eds) are blue-haired sea nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. ... This article is about the Greek sea nymph. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... The Wrath of Achilles, by François-Léon Benouville (1821–1859) (Musée Fabre) In Greek mythology, Achilles (also Akhilleus or Achilleus) (Ancient Greek: ) was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homers Iliad, which takes for its theme, not the War... Peleus consigns Achilles to Chirons care, white-ground lekythos by the Edinburgh Painter, ca. ... Pelleas is a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. ... Hephaestus, Greek god of forging, riding a Donkey; Greek drinking cup (skyphos) made in the 5th century BC Hephaestus (IPA pronunciation: or ; Greek Hêphaistos) was the Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan; he was the god of technology including, specifically blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... This article is about the Greek sea nymph. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ...


The Lady of the Lake's guise as a water fay also makes her somewhat similar to Melusine. Melusines secret discovered, from One of sixteen paintings by Guillebert de Mets circa 1410. ...


The character in medieval literature

The Lady of the Lake and Sir Bedivere.
The Lady of the Lake and Sir Bedivere.

The Lancelot-Grail Cycle provides a backstory for the Lady of the Lake, "Viviane", in the Prose Merlin section, which takes place before the Lancelot Proper though it was written later. There, Viviane learns her magic from Merlin, who becomes enamored of her. She refuses to give him her love until he has taught her all his secrets, but when he does, she uses her power to trap him beneath a stone. Because he could see the future, he knew this would happen, but was powerless to avoid it. Image File history File links Bedivere. ... Image File history File links Bedivere. ... In the tales of King Arthur, Sir Bedivere (born c. ... Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys (Merlin the Wise); also known as Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin the Wild), Merlin Caledonensis (Scottish Merlin), Merlinus, and Merlyn) is the personage best known as the mighty wizard featured in Arthurian legends, starting with Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniae. ...


The Post-Vulgate Cycle omits the entire account of Lancelot's early adventures found in the Lancelot-Grail, and splits the Lady of the Lake's character in two. The first of these acts benevolently and gives Arthur his sword Excalibur after he breaks his first one, but she demands he repay the favor at the time of her choosing. Some time later, she shows up at court and demands Arthur put the knight Sir Balin to death, explaining her family has had an ongoing blood feud with his. Instead, Balin chops off her head, and is banished from court. The Post-Vulgate Cycle is one of the major Old French prose cycles of Arthurian literature. ... Sir Balin le Savage, also known as the Knight with Two Swords, is a character in the Arthurian legend. ...


The Post-Vulgate's second Lady of the Lake is called Ninianne, and her story is nearly identical to the one in the Lancelot-Grail. Sir Thomas Malory also uses both Ladies of the Lake in his Le Morte d'Arthur; he leaves the first one unnamed and calls the second one Nimue. The character appears in many other episodes of Malory's work. Sir Thomas Malory (c. ... The Last Sleep of Arthur by Edward Burne-Jones Le Morte dArthur (spelt Le Morte Darthur in the first printing and also in some modern editions, Middle French for la mort dArthur, the death of Arthur) is Sir Thomas Malorys compilation of some French and English Arthurian...


Later uses

The Walter Scott poem and its musical settings

Walter Scott wrote an influential poem, The Lady of the Lake, in 1810, drawing on the romance of the legend, but transplanting it to Loch Katrine in the Trossachs of Scotland. In La Donna del Lago, Scott's material furnished subject matter for an opera by Gioacchino Rossini (Naples 1819). It was the first of a fashion for operas with Scottish settings and based on Scott's works, of which Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor is the most familiar.
The three "Ellen songs" from Scott's poem were set to music by Franz Schubert (D. 837 - D. 839 – Ellens Gesang I, Ellens Gesang II, Ellens Gesang III), although Schubert's music to Ellen's Third Song has become far more famous in its later adaptation known as "Schubert's Ave Maria". Alternative musical settings of these and other parts of the Scott poem (as separate songs) can be found here. The full text of Walter Scott's poem is available here: The Lady of the Lake (Gutenberg e-text #3011) and here: edition by William J. Rolfe, Boston 1883 (see page 58). Raeburns portrait of Sir Walter Scott in 1822. ... 1810 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Above Stronachlachar, looking eastward along the length of the loch. ... The Trossachs (Scottish Gaelic, Na Trosaichean) itself is a small woodland glen between Ben An to the north and Ben Venue to the south, with Loch Katrine to the west and Loch Achray to the east, but the name is used generally to refer to the wider area of wooded... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic) Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic and Scots1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) is an opera by Gioacchino Rossini with a libretto by Andrea Leone Totola, based on a poem by Sir Walter Scott. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868)[1] was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ... Gaetano Donizetti Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was a famous Italian opera composer. ... Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. ... Franz Schubert Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. ... This is a catalogue of works by Franz Schubert, ordered according to the D numbers of an updated version of the chronological catalogue of Schubert compositions by Otto Erich Deutsch. ... Ellens dritter Gesang (Ellens Gesang III, D839, Op 52 no 6, 1825), Ellens third song in English, composed by Franz Schubert in 1825, is one of Schuberts most popular works for over a century after the composers death, although some misconceptions exist around it. ...


Other appearances and popular references

The Lady of the Lake offering Arthur the sword Excalibur.

Alfred Tennyson adapted several stories of the Lady of the Lake for his poetic cycle Idylls of the King. He splits her into two characters; Vivien is a deceitful villain who ensnares Merlin while the Lady of the Lake is a benevolent figure who raises Lancelot and gives Arthur his sword. Nimue appears in T.H. White's The Once and Future King as Merlin's love interest. True to the legend she traps Merlin in a cave, but Merlin does not convey it as negative, and even refers to it as a vacation. Image File history File links Ladyofthelake1. ... Image File history File links Ladyofthelake1. ... Alfred, Lord Tennyson Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and is one of the most popular English poets. ... The Idylls of the King (1856 - 1885) are a cycle of poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that express the legend of King Arthur in terms of the psychology and concerns of nineteenth-century England. ... Terence Hanbury White (May 29, 1906 - January 17, 1964) was a writer. ... The Once and Future King The Once and Future King is an Arthurian fantasy novel written by T.H. White. ... Merlin dictating his poems, as illustrated in a French book from the 13th century. ...


The character plays a major role in The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, where the Lady of the Lake is an office filled first by the priestess Viviane, then by the priestess Niniane and later by Morgan le Fay while Merlin is seduced by Nimue. In this version, Nimue is a sympathetic and tragic young woman who falls in love with Merlin but is duty bound to seduce and lure him to his death, and who then committs suicide herself. The Mists of Avalon is a 1979 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which she relates the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters. ... Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley (June 3, 1930 – September 25, 1999) was a prolific author of largely feminist fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, and a steadfast encourager of equality (and quality) in writing. ...


Mystery novelist Raymond Chandler wrote The Lady in the Lake in 1943, which revolves around a set of mysterious deaths in the San Bernadino Mountains. Here, the symbolic Arthur, questing for the Grail of truth and adhering to his own chivalric code, is Chandler's hero Philip Marlowe. As in the original tales, Marlowe's lady in the lake is not what she first seems, and has a devastating effect on her lover. Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centres upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an author of crime stories and novels. ... The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring — as do all his major works — the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. ... Ed Bishop had the title role in BBC Radios The Adventures of Philip Marlowe. ...


The murder victim Margaret Hogg, whose body was found in a lake in England's Wasdale Valley in 1984, became known as "the Wasdale Lady in the Lake". Similarly, an unidentified murder victim thought to have been killed by the Cleveland Torso Murderer in the 1930s is referred to as the "Lady of the Lake". Margaret Hogg (died October in 1976) was a murder victim who became known as the Wasdale Lady in the Lake. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the  United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... Wasdale (pronounced as in was-dale, not waz-dale) is a valley in the western Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... Map of Cleveland, Ohio The Cleveland Torso Murderer (also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run) was an unidentified serial killer active in the Cleveland, Ohio, area in the early 20th century. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ...


Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish fantasy writer, introduced Nimue to his Witcher saga in The Swallow's Tower (1997), and focused on her in Lady of the Lake (1999). Andrzej Sapkowski Andrzej Sapkowski, born June 21, 1948 in Łódź, is a Polish fantasy writer. ... Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... Movie poster The Witcher or the Hexer (Polish: Wiedźmin), a professional monster killer named Geralt, is a character created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar). ...


The 1998 made-for-television movie Merlin features a character named Nimue, played by Isabella Rossellini, who meets and falls in love with the young Merlin. This character is distinct from the Lady of the Lake, played by Miranda Richardson. Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... A television movie (also known as a TV film, TV movie, TV-movie, feature-length drama, made-for-TV movie, movie of the week (MOTW or MOW), single drama, telemovie, telefilm, or two-hour-long drama) is a film that is produced for and originally distributed by a television network. ... DVD Cover Merlin is a 3 hour made-for-television movie released in 1998 that retells the famous legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the wizard Merlin. ... Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (born June 18, 1952 in Rome, Italy) is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and former supermodel. ... Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an Academy Award nominated English actress. ...


In Spamalot, the musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Lady of the Lake takes the role of the female lead. She is a stereotypical diva, as evidenced by her solo in act two, "Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?)". She also is very eager to get Arthur to marry her, going so far as to have a dress that converts into a wedding gown in a single motion. This Lady of the Lake's real name was revealed to be Guinevere at the end of the show. The actress who portrayed her, Sara Ramirez, won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical in 2005 for her role as the Lady of the Lake. Monty Pythons Spamalot is a comedic musical lovingly ripped off from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Queen Guinevere, by William Morris Guinevere was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In Robert Graves's novel Watch the North Wind Rise (1949), depicting a future world where the present monotheistic religions are discarded and the Triple Goddess once again rules supreme, "Nimue" is the name of the Goddess's "Maiden" manifestation.[1] Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was an English poet, scholar, and novelist. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... A Triple Goddess symbol (probably originating from Classical Greek lunar symbolism), representing the three aspects of the moon (waxing crescent, full moon, waning crescent) and womankind (maiden, mother, crone). ...


The Lady is the patron deity of the nation of the Arthurian based Bretonnia in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Book Cover of 6th Edition Bretonnian Army Book In the Warhammer Fantasy setting, Bretonnia is a country located west of the Empire, between the Grey Mountains and the Great Ocean in the lands that were once part of the domain of the Elves. ... Warhammer or Warhammer Fantasy is a fantasy setting created by Games Workshop, in which many games of that company are set, the best known ones being the Warhammer Fantasy Battles wargame, and the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay role-playing game. ...


T.A. Barron's Lost Years of Merlin series and Great Tree of Avalon series feature Nimue and the Lady of the Lake, respectively, as two separate characters. T. (Tom) A. Barron (born March 26, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American writer of young adult and fantasy literature. ... The Lost Years of Merlin series consists of the following books written by T.A. Barron. ...


She also appears in Stephen R. Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, as Charis, A Faery from the lost land of Atlantis, When she arrives in Britain after the devestaion of her homeland, she marries Taliesin, Cheif Bard of Britain, and is mother of Merlin.


References

  1. ^ [1]

External links

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Lady of the Lake (666 words)
While visiting Ligonier Valley, my husband and I stayed at the Lady of the Lake Bed and Breakfast, which is situated on 60 acres surrounding a 30-acre private lake.
At the Lady of the Lake Bed and Breakfast, we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the lake, as geese and swans paddled nearby.
There are many different types of accommodations to choose from at Lady of the Lake.
Lady of the Lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1176 words)
The Lady of the Lake's origins are probably ancient and pagan, like Morgan le Fay's, and she and Morgan may have ultimately derived from the same tradition.
The Post-Vulgate's second Lady of the Lake is called Ninianne, and her story is nearly identical to the one in the Lancelot-Grail.
The murder victim Margaret Hogg, whose body was found in a lake in England's Wasdale Valley in 1984, became known as "the Wasdale Lady in the Lake".
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