Study Guide

The Defence of Guenevere Lines 220-241

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Lines 220-241

[...] Yet Mellyagraunce was shent,
For Mellyagraunce had fought against the Lord;
Therefore, my lords, take heed lest you be blent

"With all this wickedness; say no rash word
Against me, being so beautiful; my eyes,
Wept all away to grey, may bring some sword

"To drown you in your blood; see my breast rise,
Like waves of purple sea, as here I stand;
And how my arms are moved in wonderful wise,

"Yea also at my full heart's strong command,
See through my long throat how the words go up
In ripples to my mouth; how in my hand

"The shadow lies like wine within a cup
Of marvellously colour'd gold; yea now
This little wind is rising, look you up,

"And wonder how the light is falling so
Within my moving tresses: will you dare,
When you have looked a little on my brow,

"To say this thing is vile? or will you care
For any plausible lies of cunning woof,
When you can see my face with no lie there

"For ever? am I not a gracious proof:

  • But of course, Mellyagraunce was now "shent" (destroyed), and Guenevere says it's because he had tried to fight against "the Lord."
  • By "Lord," she could be referring to God, but she could also be referring to Launcelot.
  • She warns the "lords" (now lower-cased) not to fall into the same trap as Mellyagraunce. They shouldn't accuse her of anything because, hey, look how gorgeous she is.
  • She's cried so much that her eyes are all gray. (Um, we're pretty sure your eyes won't change color no matter how much you cry, unless you're counting them getting all bloodshot and puffy. But who cares? It's a cool image.)
  • She warns her listeners that her beauty might still inspire someone to come to her defense and kill them all.
  • If that happens, she warns them, they will all drown in blood.
  • She starts going over all her different beautiful body parts: she lists her "arms," her "full heart," her "long throat," her "mouth," her "hand," her "moving tresses" (her hair), her "brow," and her "face." Well, that's a lot of beautiful parts making up one beautiful lady.
  • She asks the men how they can dare accuse someone so hot of something so "vile." She thinks her gorgeousness should be proof enough that she's not lying. (Weird logic? Yep, we think so too.)

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