Love Triangle Story Lines of Lancelot, Arthur and Guenivere to Tristram, King Mark and Isolde from Malory's Morte Darthur
When Melanie McGarrahan Gibson says of the "Tale of Sir Gareth" in Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur that "in the happiest ending of all of Morlay's tales, love and marriage triumph" (Gibson 220), she is touching on more than just the wholesome and happy nature of the tale. Though unique in its existence as the "happiest of all of Malory's tales," it is reprehensive of a larger problem within Malory's narrative scheme. The tale itself is one of the steady progresses. After overcoming all obstacles, love and marriage win in the end. This is a romantic sentiment and perhaps it is true to some extent.
The purpose of current research paper is to analysis the two dominant love triangle storylines in Morte Darthur i.e. between Lancelot-Queen Guinevere- Arthur and love triangle tale of Trsitram-La Beale Isode and King Mark. The author discusses both parallel stories as told in Malory's Morte D. Arthur, particularly focussing on the similarities and differences in both parallel stories. The author also stated how two storylines resemble each other in the way that lead the readers to have the same kind of reaction as well as described the major difference about the two storylines that readers can sympathize more with one group than the other?
2. Love Triangles in Le Morte D'arthure
Love triangle dominates the whole plot in the "Le Morte D'arthur" by Sir Thomas Malory. The two major love triangles are of Lancelot-Queen Guinevere and Arthur and the Trsitram-La Beale Isode and King Mark. Both the storylines are similar in many ways points shared between these two love triangles.
3. Love Triangle of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot
In this love tale, Guinever is wife of king Arther who afterwards falls in love with Lancelets, (one of king's renowned knights). As a wife Guinevere treats King Arthur with true devotion before getting into a relationship with Lancelot. Queen in this story is presented as an ideal wife who is cooperative and encouraging towards King Arthur. She expresses her love and affection for the King on different occasions.
Lancelot's love of Guinvere is foretold early in the Morte Darthur by Merlin, who warns Arthur against taking her as a wife. The first encounter of queen and Lancelot is shown when he arrives at the court. At this occasion, Guinvere shows a formal attitude toward him and praises him as best knight for her husband. Afterwards the rumors spread around concerning their love affair and the nature of their relationship.
As the story goes Malory describes the hurdles come their way. They are caught in the queen's chamber and Lancelot takes queen to Joyous Garde where La Beale Isode is also kept by Tristram. At this time, Pope orders King Arthur to take back the queen. Lancelot decides to take her back to the court although he is sure that the King will not forgive him. Here Lancelet attracts the sympathy from readers as he regards Guiverene and returns here for the sake of her respect.
In this situation, Lancelot proves his love for Guinevere by not leaving her and saving her on many occasions. Lancelot fights to prove her innocence and finally succeeds in his attempts but Hanks (1992) states that the love triangle of Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur shows a collapse that is inevitable involving those who achieved nothing successfully in order to resolve an existing imbalance, instead they make it more worst (Hanks, 1992). This love triangle attracts more sympathy from readers for the Lancet as being a successful knight and for his loyalty towards queen. Lancelot never really achieves "satisfaction" in spite of the fact that he is the greatest knight of Arthur's court. He is "rewarded" with renown, reputation, glory, and the adoration of both men and women, but his desires are never fully achieved. He can never "have" Guinevere; can never be satisfied where she is concerned. And so, he is frustrated in love, and in life. As Vitz notes, "to love is to be outside, love is experienced as an ever-painful and unsatisfied yearning for some ever-present pleasure, which is the ultimate locus of value and interest" (86). Lancelot is constantly frustrated in love, is constantly left yearning and dissatisfied, because his love is disloyal. An adulterous relationship can never be fully satisfied because it cannot culminate in marriage.
4. Love Triangle of Tristram-Isode-King Mark
As compared to the love tale of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot; the story of Tristram and Beale Isode relationship is more of conventional love triangle in the Morte (Dobblin, 99-101). The similarity between is that just like Guivenere is wife to King Arthur, La beale Isode is wife of King Mark. Similarly like Lancelet, Tristam here is the knight, but he is also nephew and only successor of the King. In the story Tristram and La Beale Isode are lovers. The story of their love is eminent as well as accepted in the realm of Arthur.
The love starts in the Ireland when Tristram visits there for the first time. They promise and exchange rings (Koplowitz-Breier, 18). Despite the fact that the theory of their pre-marriage is agreed, the love story is well-known in the Arthurian realm related to La Beale Isode and Tristram.
As compared to the storyline of King Arthur, King Mark was fully aware of the relationship of Tristram and La Beale Isode. Tristram rescues La Beale Isode at two occasions. The first time it happens when La Beale Isode is taken from the King Mark by Palomydes. When Tristram knows about it, by that time Sir Adtherpe already saves her. The mission of Tristram is to restore the honor of La Beale Isode by fighting against Palomydes. The second time La Beale Isode is saved by Tristram after they are together in bed and are caught and La Beale Isode is sent to the hut of leper. Even though there is no danger associated to her physically, however there is a great danger to her honor since lepers were known to be sinners and treated as living dead (Shahar, 68-74).
In story we find two evidences of their meeting. One when Tristram rescues Isode from the hut of lepers, here they live in a forest situated in Fayre Maner untill La King Mark takes her back to the court. The second time, when King Mark sends Tristram to imprisonment and Isode comes to meet him. At this occasion Tristram convinces La Beale Isode to make escaping together and she agrees. Both move to the castle of Lancelot named Joyous Grade. According to the story they lived as a couple there.
After coming to know about their relationship, King Mark decides to forgive Isode however he forbids Trsitram from the Cornwall. Because of restrictions, Tristram moves to the court of King Arthur and after that goes to Brittany. Compared to the story of Guinever and Lancelot, Tristram marries Iseult of Brittany but as his true love and affection is for Isode which keeps him away from Ieult. He becomes ill and he tries to send a message to Isode asking her to return to him for his survival but his wife Iseult cheats here by telling him there is no hope of that Isode will come. Thus Tristram, dies in woe with a broken heart and her wife, Iseult regrets on her act after realizing how true was the love of Tristram for Isode.
The love tale of Lancelot and Guinevere depicts a love triangle that is traditional (Duby,.250-266). This love triangle relationship was amply blurred for King Arthur as he did not take it as a stigma to his honor. As regards character of Queen Guinevere, Malory portrays as a loving and caring wife and a strong character woman still there is an impression that she is an adulterer who keeps on depending on her lover Lancelot. Malory's view of queen Guinevere is twofold. On one side she seems to be playing a supporting pillar role in the Kingdom of Arthur while on the other side she becomes its main devastating reason.
In contrast the love triangle of King Arthur Isode and Tristram are clear in their love to each other. Since King Arthur intentionally ignores the affair of Lancelot and the queen Guinevere while King Mark is fully aware of the relationship between Tristram and La Beale Isode. La Beale Isode, though not being tentative as is Guinevere, can't be affirmed as ingenuous women and hence meets all the requirements of famine Character model. The role of La Beale Isode is the symbol of diversity and is not perfect. Therefore both the ladies are not similar.
Through the character of Tristram, Malory shows loyalty and regret as he renounces all hope of future pleasures for the sake of being loyal to a woman whom he can never legitimately love. Trastram's marriage to a woman other than la Belle Isolde is…