Lancelot and the Three Faery Queens:
As Storied Anew
After a long day of hunting our hero Lancelot lay down to sleep in the afternoon sun. He was tired, exhuasted, and undone. As he rest there came upon him a trio of women whose beauty knew no bounds. These were the three Faery Queens. As they looked at the young handsome knight lust filled them boiling, hungry as hounds. Along with them were four loathsome creatures with spines twisted, dry crackled skin, and the grimmest of expressions. They carried the wealth of the three Queens and saw to their attentions. They were all once tall handsome knights but now they were each more decrepit than the next.
Together on Lancelot they placed an enchainment and all were instantly transported to their magical encampment. As he awoke he saw before him the beautiful Queens who then gave him an ultimatum. He was to choose one of the Queens of which to become her lover. While it is true that faeries may have the power to capture a man’s body they have no will over his soul. “If I have the choice among the three of you I may choose none at all” said he to their bewildered expressions. “You will choose one of we to be or death shale yet be your lover instead of we three. Only a fool would forgo this fortuitous offer. This you shall see.” Lancelot was then overtaken as a rage of images flooded his mind. The Queens filled him full of thoughts of the pleasures that he would receive. He then looked to those four poor beasts beside them. Twisted, beaten, and hollow they used to be men like he and at once knew he could not give into their torture, temptations or tantrums. “If death be my bedfellow, if I am to die, than I will make love to death. I will court the with all the passions of my soul and the noble embrace befitting a blessed and beautiful bride. Hear me now you hags! For the glory of your faces and form are but a faery facade, a soulless fiction masking the ugliness of your truth. If death be my lover than I will willingly give her every lustful exticy and pleasure that I would have had while I live. For what it is that you ask is something that I do not have the power to give.” Insulted and confounded they departed with this “by the dawning of the moon tonight we will see if your actions can pay up the bounty that your tongue has placed and if you should fall weak on your word you will feel nothing but lace.”
Lancelot looked all around and found himself surrounded on all sides by thick and frightful bushes of thorns. If only he had his sword and armor he be out by the morn. Then out of the bushes came a hand. He saw and a voice soon accompanied the hand. “A brave one you are indeed good Sir Knight” and quickly he answered “my thanks be to you now and a thousand times fold if you may assist me at once! Where are we? How might I escape?” the voice replied “we are nowhere, everywhere, and somewhere. If you are to flee from these three…take my hand, close your eyes, think of the one to whom your heart can not lie, take one big step forward with me and be free”. “But how can I?” he says “I can not pass through these thorns? They are sharper than daggers and as many as the stars” but the voice had an answer, one he knew not how to hear “there are no thorns, no walls, no barrier of any kind or other. They are your own illusions, institutions, and intrusions. These thorns, they are not real. Look to your heart, to your soul, to that sacred truth and feel” and he whispered the words he had never once had to say “I am scared, I dont know what to do but lay here and pray” and the voice “I am too, I am frightened of your fate if you stay where you are, yes I am scarred of what will happen to you. Now they are coming, now you must choose. Believe what I say, that if you trust in the power of your heart you can not lose.” With that this once brave knight knew what to do and he grasped the hand as the voice said “tell me whom do you love, to whom does your heart burn, who has the power to slow down time, what is the name of she who you yurn?” and without even a pause and with the boldest conviction of tone “Guinevere…Guinevere, Guinevere” and with confidence he stepped through. The thorns, they had vanished. The place was one that he knew. But the one to whose hand he had held, the one who had saved him as well, had disappeared too. “How strange this was” he thought to himself but the voice that just before he could not tell…suddenly, just now, as he broke from the spell “could it be? Was it her? Was it she? That was a voice I knew right well! Oh my dearest love, you have saved me from a fate worse than Hell.”
Suddenly she awoke with a clatter. “Why are you so troubled? What is the matter?” asked the startled King Arthur. As Guinevere regained her composer and saw him besides her the expression she wore grew even sadder. How could she tell him what had happened? How could she say what she was feeling? Though, the bed of a King and Queen should be loving, warm and revieling it had always been cold, dull and uncomferting. Oh, how she dreaded to cuddle, to hold his hand or to couple. She had lied to him and herself far too long. She looked at this man and suddenly she knew what had been building inisde her was true. Lancelot was her love, her pain, her bliss, and her struggle. Lans was her knight and the King of her heart. What ever the sacrifice, what ever the trouble, she was going to him right now on the double.
One Possible Translation:
Lancelot: the Ego
Gweneviere: the Soul (the Truth or our connection to the Divine)
The Three Faery Qeens: the Sciences
The Thorn Bush: the Facts (empirical data)
King Arthur: the Religouse Dogma that has become too protective and restrictive
The Four Creatures: Modern Man
Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.
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