The British Isles are soggy places surrounded by water and covered with lakes, ponds, rivers, and springs. Naturally, water featured prominently in the mythology of the early inhabitants of England and Ireland. The Lady of the Lake, though later adopted by French authors of Arthurian legend, appears to be based on older Celtic goddesses associated with water.
So, it is clear that the name has been applied to a few different women. By Walter Scott, Esq. Johnson had just been reading the Lady of the Lake , and at once suggested that my name be "Douglass. The Post-Vulgate Cycle 's second Lady of the Lake is called Ninianne, and her story is nearly identical to the one in the Lancelot-Grail, though it adds her bestowal of the magic sword Excalibur to Arthur. In September , the comic-book publisher, Gilberton Company, Inc. Read, Write, Think, Discuss Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, is a main character in Marion Zimmer Bradley 's fantasy novel The Mists ofAvalon , which tells the tales of Arthurian legend from the point of view of several female characters. The poem is not based upon specific historic events, but has certain elements that occurred in Scottish history:.
There are many Celtic water spirits and goddesses, most of them women. Ceridwen pronounced kuh-RID-wen was a Celtic goddess who possessed a magic cauldron or kettle.
She made a brew with herbs and water that would grant wisdom to whoever drank it. Even more notably, Brigid pronounced BREED was a goddess who kept watch over a well or many wells from which a prospective king had to drink in order to earn his place on the throne.
One of the main symbols of the Lady of the Lake is water. Because she lives underwater, she exists in a realm almost completely unknown to readers, which adds to her depiction as a symbol of mystery and magic. Water was also often used as a symbol of healing, which is illustrated in her treatment of Arthur after he falls on the battlefield.
The Lady of the Lake, for being a rather minor character in Arthurian legend, has inspired many artists in various media over the centuries. Most notably, the poem The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott offered a re-telling of her myth set in a Scottish lake; this poem was the basis of a later opera by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.
The tale also loosely inspired the Raymond Chandler detective novel The Lady in the Lake , which was made into a film in The Lady of the Lake also makes a brief appearance in the John Boorman film Excalibur , as an arm that reaches up from the water to reclaim Excalibur when Arthur dies. Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, is a main character in Marion Zimmer Bradley 's fantasy novel The Mists ofAvalon , which tells the tales of Arthurian legend from the point of view of several female characters.
The novel also explores the clash between Christian and pre-Christian beliefs in medieval England. Though possible, these theories seem unlikely. Water deities were extremely popular with Celtic Society for they controlled the essential essence of life itself. The spontaneous movement of springs, rivers and lakes clearly showed the supernatural powers of the goddesses who lived within; and offerings at such aquatic features were commonplace, especially of weapons and other valuables.
The practice continues today at wishing wells across the country, and the Lady of the Lake is remembered as "Lady Luck"! Her names clearly reveal this Lady to have been the Celtic Water-Goddess Coventina presumably identified by the Romans with their Mnemosyne. She is most celebrated for her shrine at Brocolitia Carrawburgh on Hadrian's Wall.
Here a quadrangular temple surrounded a central pool fed by a sacred spring. Coin, jewellery and small bronze figurine offerings have been excavated as well as numerous altars dedicated by the local soldiers. The narrative of the poem concerns the struggle between King James V and the powerful clan Douglas.
The King has banished the entire family from his realm, including James of Douglas, the Earl of Bothwell, who had been his protector during his youth. At the beginning of the poem a mysterious knight calling himself James Fitz-James arrives at the castle and is granted hospitality. During his brief stay, he falls in love with Ellen but finds rivals for her affections in Roderick himself and in Malcolm Graeme, a young knight loyal to the King but moved by sympathy at the plight of Douglases. It is Malcolm that Ellen favours.
Facing attack from royal forces for sheltering Douglas, Roderick gathers his clan. Douglas, though, is loath to bring disaster upon his host, and sets out for the royal court at Stirling, determined to surrender. Fitz-James returns and offers to take Ellen to safety but is told that she loves another. He nonetheless presses on her a ring which, he says, will obtain any favour from the King.
Travelling to Stirling, Fitz-James meets and quarrels with Roderick. In the ensuing fight, Roderick is mortally wounded and carried to Stirling as a captive.