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~ Geraint and Enid ~

Geraint and Enid by Arthur Hughes

The legend of Geraint and Enid is a wonderful Arthurian Romance. Chretien de Troyes "Erec et Enide" (AD 1170) is the earliest known existing written Arthurian Romance. Lady Charlotte Guest translated the Welsh legend of Geraint and Enid entitled "Geraint the Son of Erbin". Both versions, although slightly different, tell basically the same tale.

Enid is the beautiful daughter of a poor vavasour. Geraint, a brave and handsome knight of King Arthur's court, meets Enid during a quest to avenge Guinevere. In both versions, Erec/Geraint enters and wins a tournament in which the knight defends the assertion that his beloved is the most beautiful woman. He and Enid marry shortly thereafter. Geraint returns to Camelot with Enid, and gives up all tournaments and traveling so that he can be with her. He dotes on her and is so devoted to her that he can think of nothing but her and being with her. Rumors circulate that Geraint has given up chivalry for love and has become less of a man because of it. Enid hears these rumors and realizes that she is the cause of it all, and feels very badly.

One night, Geraint awakens to find that Enid is in tears and asks her to tell him what is bothering her. She doesn't want to tell him, but as he continues questioning her, she tries to explain. He misunderstands the reason and believes that she is ashamed of him and because of this has been unfaithful to him. Geraint decides to take her with him on a quest to prove his bravery and for her to prove her fidelity. He treats her very shabbily during this time, and won't allow her to speak to him. In Chretien de Troyes romance the trials that they endure are explored. Each time, Enid proves her love and loyality to her husband....even by disobeying her husbands wishes in order to keep him from harm. Enid proves her faith and constancy through all the hardships and shows an example of love in the chivalric code (and also for modern society). Her love proves to him in the end, that she has always loved him, been truly faithful to him, and has never been ashamed of him.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson writes of their relationship to prove the power of married love in his "Idylls of the King". (Two parts:"Geraint and Enid", and,"The Marriage of Geraint" ).

In the end, Geraint and Enid return to Camelot and live in happiness for the rest of their lives.

Geraint/Erec and Enid in Art
Links for Geraint/Erec and Enid

Arthurian Romances
The Lady of Shalott
Tristan and Isolde

Arthur and Camelot
Need an Arthurian Image?
Arthurian Legends- *A to Z*

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