he following webpage is a hypertext document in which we trace the role of Queen Guinevere throughout the tradition of Arthurian legend. We have provided links to pertinent references, pictures, e-texts, societies, and external pages which elaborate upon our topic. Our primary focus, however, is the gradual construction of Guinevere's character through the chronological development of the Arthurian corpus of writing. The fundamental importance of Guinevere's character rests in her betrayal of Arthur, which takes form in a manner appropriate to the predominate theme of the text in which it appears.
Guinevere today is a tainted characer; she cannot be written anew. Most readers are aware of her dishonesty with Arthur after only a brief introduction of Arthurian legend, if they were not already prepared for it through cultrual exposure. We as readers accept an author's portrayal of her as authentic only if it fulfills our basic expectations. First, she must be Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur. Also, she must have an affair with Lancelot, or if that specific extramarital liaison is lacking, she must somehow adore and nevertheless deceive Arthur. Her transgression may be treated with various degrees of sympathy, or it may take a form other than adultery or lust, but it may not be omitted. Guinevere is defined by this single act, and written without it, remains herself solely in name.
The scope of this hypertext is between approximately 500 CE to the present. If you, however, would prefer to skip ahead to the time period or author of your choice, you can use our handy tablt of contents below. Because this is a "hyptertext" research paper, we have placed links to other pertinent pages within the Caliburn project ("The Quest"), to photos from various sources, and to external pages. Enjoy!
Link to the List of Guinevere Aliases
Return to The Quest