Study Guide

The Defence of Guenevere Lines 277-286

By William Morris

Lines 277-286

"By God! I will not tell you more to-day,
Judge any way you will: what matters it?
You know quite well the story of that fray,

"How Launcelot still'd their bawling, the mad fit
That caught up Gauwaine: all, all, verily,
But just that which would save me; these things flit.

"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie,
Whatever may have happen'd these long years,
God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie!

"All I have said is truth, by Christ's dear tears."

  • Guenevere stops her story without telling her listeners (or us) what Launcelot said to her when she woke up from her faint. She says she doesn't want to say anything else right now.
  • She tells them to judge her however they like, because it doesn't really matter – they all know what happened when she and Launcelot were found together.
  • They all know that Launcelot somehow "stilled" or quieted their "bawling" or shouting, but that Gauwaine went all crazy.
  • They know everything, except for the important facts that would get her off the hook.
  • Then Guenevere repeats the same lines to Gauwaine again, telling him that his accusation is a lie and that she's telling the truth. She uses the same words as in lines 46-48 and 142-144.
  • She swears again that everything she has told them is true.

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