The Idylls of the King
There are 12 of these idylls. They are Tennyson's attempt at an
– The 1st version of this poem was "Morte D’Arthur."
reworked it slightly for inclusion in the Idylls.
King Arthur is hero, center of things. Through his ideals and insight
creates Camelot, a process called Romantic Projection.
- "The Coming of Arthur" and "The Passing of Arthur" are a matched
pair. The first six idylls trace the rise of Camelot; the last
six its gradual fall. Each one is paired with the one matching is
one the way down; 1 &12, 2&11, etc.
|2.1 The Coming of Arthur
2.2 Gareth and Lynette
2.3 The Marriage of Geraint
2.4 Geraint and Enid
2.5 Balin and Balan
2.6 Merlin and Vivien
|2.12 The Passing of Arthur
2.10 The Last Tournament
2.9 Pelleas and Ettare
2.8 The Holy Grail
2.7 Lancelot and Elaine
- In "The Coming of Arthur," we see Camelot established based on
the vision and ideals of Arthur. We see themes of light, joy, and
birth through the play.
- His downfall in original story was incest, but Tennyson omits
this it to
make him perfect. The kingdom falls because of Guinevere (sounds
like Milton putting all the blame on Eve.) It falls with the
passing of Arthur.
Day rises/sets on Camelot. If you’re born you must die, so Camelot must
eventually die too.
Idyll – shorter than an epic. Individual poems centered
state of character. Epic is based on action. Idylls show the romantic
What's Arthur want Bedivere to do?
How many times does it take for Bedivere to obey?
How's Arthur know Bedivere has obeyed?