Womens Insight is 20/20 Essay

This essay has a total of 1326 words and 5 pages.

Womens Insight is 20/20

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, is not only an example of a Medieval
Romance, but also tells the story of the women who stood behind King Arthur during his
infamous reign in the Middle Ages. The term "Medieval Romance" does not necessarily mean
that the piece using it contains any sort of romance. There are three criteria that must
be meet to form a Medieval Romance. (1) The plot must divide into sharply separate
episodes that often do not seem joined in any obvious casual fashion. (2) The plots
generally take the form of tests that they must pass to attain form goal. (3) The
protagonist fails tests, which often involve acts of moral and spiritual perception, until
such a point that they finally follow advice. This book is not a typical Medieval Romance,
but it contains all the important aspects of one. This novel explains the reasoning and
decisions that Arthur made from the perspective of the women involved. The Mists of Avalon
is a twist on the Arthurian tales as told by the four women instrumental to the story:
Gwynhefar, Arthur's wife; Igraine, his mother; Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, High
Priestess of Avalon; and Morgaine, his sister, lover, and heiress to Avalon. The story is
told by each as they saw it happen. In this novel, the legend of King Arthur is for the
first time told through the lives, the visions, and the perceptions of the women central
to it. By telling the story through a woman's perspective The Mists of Avalon provides a
feminine insight into the depths of Arthurian legend previously dominated by men.

The struggle between Christianity and the religion of Avalon is one of the central parts
of the story. Arthur, whose mother was Igraine, sister to Viviane, grows up to be High
King of Britain after his father, Uther Pendragon, dies. In this era there were two
religions that the people studied. One was under the Christians vows. They believed that
their was only one god, theirs. They believed that all other gods were false and sinful.
In the Christian beliefs, the women were believed to be the ultimate sinners. Under this
belief they were always made to feel subservient to their men. The other religion was
under the Goddess, who the people in the mystical world of Avalon believed were
responsible for man and all of its creations. It is stated often in the novel that the
worshipers of Avalon believe that all gods are one god and all goddesses are one goddess.
They believe in one all-powerful god above who can take as many forms and names, as he
wants. Even though the believers In Avalon thought well of the Christian, the Christians
despised those from Avalon, and thought of them as evil. Viviane, a woman, is the High
Priestess of Avalon. It was she, following the wishes of the Goddess, who set Arthur on
the Throne. The High Priestess seats Arthur on the throne in the hope that he will protect
the rites and traditions of Avalon. Old Arthurian Legends were always told from a
Christian man's perspective, the Lady of the Lake is looked on as an evil sorceress. In
The Mists of Avalon, however, we see Viviane's actions through Viviane's eyes. This new
perspective allows us to see that Viviane worked only for the good of the people and is
not evil. It is in this feminine perspective that we are given more insight into Arthurian
Legend.

Camelot and Avalon were alive in the time of knights, and of war and conquest. Old
Arthurian Legend is full of tales about an individual knight's prowess. Tales of bloody
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