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The Tristram legend and its treatment by three Victorian poets: Matthew Arnold, Alfred, Lord Tennyson… Westwick, Gwyneth McArravy 1960

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THE TRISTRAM LEGEND AND ITS TREATMENT BY THREE VICTORIAN POETS: MATTHEW ARNOLD, ALFRED LORD TENNYSON AND ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE by GWYNETH McARRAVY WESTWICK B.A\,, University of British Columbia, 1 9 5 8 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, i 9 6 0 . In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood tha t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of English The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date ^>£ycr?,^Ju^ /a. - ABSTRACT In i t s earliest form, the Tristram legend was probably a Celtic folk-tale known i n oral tradition as early as the eighth or ninth century. During the early part of the twelfth century i t became known i n France and Brittany; and there, i n the later years of that same century, i t was recorded In a lost romance now referred to as the Ur-Tristan. From this source, so i t i s believed, the earliest extant romances upon the subject were derived. During the twelfth century, two main versions developed—first the version des .jongleurs, given i n the poems of Beroul and Eilhart von Oberge, and second, the version courtoise. given i n Thomas's Tristan and some derivatives of i t . Among tnese la s t , the Tristan of Gottfried von Strassburg, written about 1215*, i s generally regarded as one of the masterpieces of medieval literature. In the early thirteenth century, the legend was employed i n an anonymous romance, the French prose Tristan. In this version, which was greatly influenced by the prose Lancelot cycle, the narrative i s so grossly adulterated by the machinery of thirteenth-century courtly romance that the original love story i s a l l but obscured. In most texts of the prose Tristan, even the traditional love-death scene i s altered. This account of the legend became for five centuries the only version i n which i t vas known. Two treatments of the legend appeared i n Middle English literature. F i r s t i s the northern Sir Tristrem. an anonymous poem composed about 1300 and based upon the Tristan of Thomas. Secondly, the Morte d'Arthur, composed by Sir Thomas Malory about IH-69, account of the Tristram legend based entirely upon the French prose Tristan. The legend did not again receive a major treat-ment i n English literature u n t i l the mid-nineteenth century, when i t became the subject of poems by Matthew Arnold, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Algernon Charles Swinburne. Arnold's "Tristram and Iseult" i s based, except for the love-death episode, upon the version courtoise. Arnold regarded as the central problem of the narrative, not the love story i t s e l f , but Tristram's conflicting loyalties to the two Iseults. and sympathized, not with the i l l - f a t e d lovers, but with Iseult of Brittany, the innocent victim of the tragic love. She becomes i n his poem symbolic of the Stoic way of l i f e , the compromise which Arnold offered to resolve the conflict of emoti&n and i n t e l l e c t . i i i i i Tennyson treated the Tristram legend i n "The Last Tournament," one of the Idylls of the King"based upon Malory's Morte d'Arthur. The legend i s employed i n the moral allegory of the Idylls as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the e v i l consequences of adultery. In thus regarding the love story merely as a tale of adultery, Tennyson deviated greatly from the traditionally sympathetic treatment of the narrative. Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse i s . l i k e Arnold's poem, based chiefly upon the version courtoise. In Swinburne&s treatment the love story i s again central, the theme being an exaltation of the ennobling and sancti-fying power of human love. Along with the explicit exaltation of passionate love i s an implied criticism of the hypocritical morality and distrust of passion which Swinburne regarded as prevalent i n his age. Although these three Victorian poems di f f e r widely i n plot, characterization and purpose, the Tristram legend i s employed didactically i n each, and the purposes governing i t s didactic treatment are dictated by the age in which and for which the poems were written. TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page Introduction . . . . . . . . . 1 I. The Origi n and Early Development of the Tristram Legend 2 I I . The Tristram Legend i n Middle English L i t e r a t u r e . . . . 35 I I I . Matthew Arnold's "Tristram and Iseult" h8 IV. A l f r e d Lord Tennyson's "The Last Tournament" 79 V. Algernon Charles Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse . . . . . . . . . . . 103 VI. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Bibliography ihl i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to acknowledge the valuable and unfailingly patient assistance given me by Dr. William Robbins during the preparation of this thesis. I am also indebted to Dr. A. Earle Birney for his guidance i n the f i r s t two chapters, and to Dr. Edmund Morrison for his helpful criticism of the text. v INTRODUCTION The purpose of this thesis i s to examine the nineteenth-century treatments of the Tristram legend by Arnold, Tennyson and Swinburne against the background of the legend's origin, development of variants, and treatment i n the medieval romances. A comparative study of the three Victorian poems w i l l emphasize especially the selection and alteration of source materials, allegorical or symbolic interpret-ations of the legend, and didactic purposes governing i t s treatment. 1 CHAPTER I THE ORIGIN AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRISTRAM LEGEND In the course of i t s history from the eighth century to the fifteenth, the tragic story of Tristram and Iseult underwent many mutations. Beginning in oral tradition as a primitive Celtic folk legend, i t was f i r s t recorded in literature as an early medieval French romance. In later French and German medieval versions, the legend was variously altered to suit the changing tastes and conventions of i t s audiences* When the legend at last reappeared in the literature of England, i t had acquired many elements foreign to the traditional Celtic tale. It is the purpose of this chapter to examine the progress and development of the legend before i t s f i r s t known appearance in English literatures In order to f a c i l i t a t e discussion of the origin and growth of the legend, the following synopsis i s quoted from Helaine Newstead's chapter, "The Origin and Growth of the Tristan Legend," published under the editorship of R.S, Loomis in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages. "A young noble or king named Rivalen came to Cornwall to take service with King Mark, f e l l i n love with 2 3 his sister ELancheflor, married her, and had by her a son Tristan, Blancheflor died the day the boy was born, and the orphan was brought up by a master* The accomplished youth arrived at King Mark's court incognito and won his uncle's favour. He slew i n combat the Irish champion Morholt, who had demanded a tribute of Cornish youths. A fragment of Tristan's sword, lodged i n Morholt's skull, was removed and preserved by the Irish princess Isoit, who vowed to find the slayer of her uncle and to avenge his death. Later, when Tristan was sent i n search of a bride for King Mark, he reached Ireland and slew a dragon ravaging the land. As he lay unconscious, overcome by i t s poison, a false seneschal claimed the victory and the hand of the princess. But she discovered Tristan, and tended his wounds. As he sat i n a bath, she identified him as the slayer of Morholt by a breach i n his sword matching the fragment she had kept. She spared his l i f e only i n order to save herself from the seneschal. After confounding the false claimant, Tristan won Isolt as his uncle's bride, "On the voyage to Cornwall a magic potion intended for the bridal couple on their wedding night was given i n error to Tristan and Isolt, who thenceforth were bound to each other by i t s spell. A l l duties and obligations were sacrificed to the demands of their consuming passion. The episodes deal i n mounting suspense with the stratagems of the lovers to remain together and to escape the perils of detection. On the wedding night, Isolt, to conceal the loss of her virginity, persuaded her f a i t h f u l attendant Brangain to take her place and then plotted to murder her to keep the secret ;J although afterwards she penitently cancelled the order* On another occasion, King Mark was induced by a spying dwarf to conceal himself in the branches of a tree beneath which the lovers had planned a rendezvous* His shadow revealed his presence to them, and they cleverly lulled his suspicions by a conversation suggesting their h o s t i l i t y to each other. The dwarf then plotted to trap the lovers by strewing flour on the floor of the royal chamber in the hope that Tristan's foot-prints would betray his v i s i t to the queen's bed* Tristan outwitted the dwarf by leaping from his bed to Isolt's, but the effort broke open a wound that stained the queen's bed with blood. Since Mark was convinced of her guilt by the bloodstains^ Isolt offered to swear publicly on red-hot iron that she was f a i t h f u l to her husband. She arranged for Tristan, disguised as a pilgrim, to meet her at the place appointed for the ordeal, and, stumbling apparently by accident into his arms, she was enabled to affirm the l i t e r a l truth that no man save her husband and the pilgrim had ever embraced her. The red-hot iron 5 l e f t her unscathed, and Mark accepted this proof of her innocence.^-"Eventually, however, the king banished the lovers, and they fled into the forest of Morois. One day when Mark was hunting he discovered them asleep with a naked sword between them. Reassured once more of their innocence, he recalled Isolt, but sent Tristan into permanent exile. In Brittany Tristan gained the friendship of the ruler's son Kaherdin, Though suffering from his separation, Tristan was persuaded to marry his friend's sister, Isolt of the White Hands, because she bore the same name as his beloved. He remained f a i t h f u l , nevertheless, to the Irish Isolt, One day, as his wife was riding with her brother and water happened to splash her leg, she remarked that Tristan had never been so bold with her. Accused by Kaherdin of neglecting her and so insulting her family, Tristan confessed that a more beautiful Isolt in Cornwall was his true love. To satisfy Kaherdin*s demand for proof of this assertion, the friends travelled in disguise to Cornwall, where they spent the night with the queen and one of her maids^e Kaherdin not only was convinced of the superior 1 "This i s the version of Thomas, According to Eilhart and Beroul, Mark decided to burn the lovers as adulterers after the discovery of the bloodstained bed. On his way to the stake, Tristan obtained permission from his guards to erteter a chapel to pray; then he leaped from the window to the rocks below and escaped. When Isolt was brought to the stake, a company of lepers proposed as a more savage punishment that she be given to them to serve their l u s t . After the king had delivered her to the lepers, she was rescued by Tristan, and the lovers fled into the forest." (Miss Newstead»s note). 6 beauty of Isoit but he also f e l l i n love with the maid. • • . Finally, after many other adventures following the return of the two friends to Brittany, Tristan was desperately wounded, and he sent for Isoit to Ireland to heal him. I f she came with his messenger, the ship was to hoist white s a i l s ; i f not black s a i l s . Isolt hastened to her lover, but his jealous wife falsely reported to him that the sails were black. He died i n despair, and when Isolt found that she had arrived too late she died of grief beside him.M2 Because the Tristram legend was f i r s t recorded i n French literature, some scholars have contended that the French poets were merely employing the Celtic setting and characters i n stories entirely of their own invention, and that the legend need not have had a Celtic origin at a l l . Opinion, however, seems to favour the theory of the existence of an original Celtic legend or folk-tale. As R. S. Loomis states: Of course, the Bretons embellished the Welsh stories, adapted them to French and Anglo-Norman taste, and added features of their own, but they did not create an independent legend.3 The Tristram legend probably originated among the Plots. The names of "Loonois," Tristam/s birthplace, 2 Helaine Newstead, "The Origin and Growth of the Tristan Legend," i n Arthurian Literature i n the Middle Ages, a  Collaborative History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon. 1959), pp. 123-124. 3 R« S. Loomis, Arthurian Tradition and Chretien de Troves (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949), p. 22. 7 and of "Morrois," the forest to which the lovers flee, almost certainly refer, as J i D , Bruce suggests,^ to Lothian and Murray respectively, two di s t r i c t s of the Scottish Lowlands once inhabited by Picts, Moreover, as Helaine Newstead shows,5 "Tristan," the name by which Tristram i s called i n the early romances, almost certainly comes from "Drust" or "Drostan," the name of a Pictish king who ruled about 780 A.D, This evidence suggests that the supposed derivation of "Tristan" from the French M t r i s t e " : was a post hoc invention of the French poets, and that the original Tristan was not French but Pictish, Further evidence supporting the theory of Tristram's Pictish origin i s supplied by the great Irish legend of The Wooing of Emer, Helaine Newstead states: Although the Picts disappeared as a separate people after a crushing defeat in 843 and nothing remains of their language except a few dubious inscriptions, a precious fragment of the legend that developed around the royal name of Drust is preserved in the tenth-century recension of the Irish saga, The Wooing of Emer.° In this saga, the hero Cuchulainn arrives with a band of followers at an island in the Hebrides to find the people 4 J . D. Bruce, The Evolution of Arthurian Romance (2 vols.; 2nd ed,; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1928), I, 177-180. 5 Newstead, p. 125, 6 Ibid., p. 126. 8 mourning because the king's daughter has been claimed for tribute by three sea-robbers. In fighting and defeating each of the pirates i n turn, Cuchulainn receives a wound which the princess binds with a strip torn from her garment. When, later, others boast of the heroic deed, she commands each man to bathe, and identifies her true rescuer by the strip binding his wound. Drust i s l i s t e d herein as one of Cuchulainn's companions. Since Drust i s mentioned nowhere else i n the saga, and since a closely parallel incident occurs i n the earliest French romances of Tristram, Helaine Newstead concludes? that this episode may once have belonged to a Pictish saga of Drust, the original hero of which was displaced when the material was assimilated into the legend of Cuchulainn. If this theory i s correct, then the parallel portion of the Tristram legend must have been known among the Picts before the tenth century* Miss Newstead remarks: The nucleus of the Tristan legend, then, was a tradition that Drust delivered a foreign land from a forced tribute and rescued the intended victim, a princess who later succeeded i n identifying the hero i n a bath and i n thus confounding the false claimants to the victory. Since a version of this story was written down i n the Iris h Wooing of Rmar i n the tenth century, this part of the legend must have been i n circulation as early as the ninth century. 8 7 Newstead, p. 126. 8 Ibid., pp. 126-127. Although the name " T r i s t a n " i s o r i g i n a l l y P i c t i s h , the names of other characters associated with the legend show Welsh and Cornish influence. The seneschal, Dinas of Lidan, bears a Cornish name meaning "large f o r t r e s s . "Mark," although a common Germanic name, i s also both the C e l t i c word for "horse" and the name of a sixtfeucentury Cornish king; i n the more primitive versions of the legend, Mark i s represented as bearing the ears of a horse, which he, l i k e the corresponding king of c l a s s i c a l antiquity, v a i n l y endeavours to c o n c e a l . 1 0 The name of the heroine, " I s e u l t , " has also been regarded as Germanic, but the existence of a Cornish place-name, Ryt-Eselt. meaning "Eselt's f o r d , " and the name " E s s y l t " given to Mark's wife i n the Welsh Triads, suggest that t h i s name could be Welsh or Cornish as well as Germanic, and that i t need not indicate Germanic influence i n t h i s portion of the legend.^-References to Tristram i n the medie Welsh*. Mabinoglon indicate that he became a Welsh national hero. In Kulwch and Olwen. composed probably i n the tenth or eleventh century, one of the great heroes i s l i s t e d as "Drystan" or "Trystan mab Tallwch," a close equivalent 9 Bruce, I, 1#2. 10 Newstead, p. 1261. 11 Bruce^-I, 1&3«1&4. 10 of the Pictish Drostan son of Talorc, i < i Trystan also appears i n the Dream of Khonabwy. a prose tale of the Mabinogjon. as one of King Arthur's counsellorsj however, since this tale i s , according to J. D. Bruce, "certainly not earlier than the middle of the twelfth century, m 13 i t may reflect the influence of French literature rather than of genuine folk-lore* It was probably i n Wales that the original story of the Pictish warrior and folk-hero acquired the important conception of Tristram as the lover of Iseult. In the Triads of the Mabinogjon. "Trystan mab Tallwch" i s variously described as one of the three diadem-wearers of Britain, one of the three machine-masters, one of the three lovers, and one of the three great swineherds of Britain.l 1* He earns this last appellation when, keeping March's swine so that the regular swineherd can deliver a message to Essylt, he successfully defends the herd against a l l the attempts of Arthur, March, Kei, and Bedwyr, who cannot steal a single hog from him. Here Trystan i s identified as March's nephew, and as the lover of Essylt, March's young wife. Although the story of Tristram's love for Iseult, as i t i s told i n the French romances, -was probably added to 12 Newstead, p. 122. 13 Bruce, I, 181. Ik Ibid.. 180-181. 11 the legend i n either Wales or Cornwall* i t i s based upon an Irish legend. Helaine Newstead states: The Welsh attached to Trystan and Essylt one of the most celebrated plots i n Irish legend--the aithed or elopement of Diarmaid and Grainne, which existed i n the ninth century. 1' 7 Unfortunately the Aitheda are preserved only i n such fragmentary and corrupt versions that i t i s impossible to determine the f u l l extent of their influence upon the legend of Tristan and Iseult, Miss Gertrude Schoepperle 1s reconstruction of the aithed of Diarmaid and Grainne 1^ does, however, reveal a striking similarity i n motif. Diarmaid, the trusted nephew of the great chieftain Finn, bears a love-spot, the sight of which compels Grainne, Finn's young wife, to desire him. When he, through loyalty to his uncle, rejects her, she places him under a magic spell by which he i s forced to flee with her into the forest. Finn vengefully pursues them, and they endure many hardships together. For a long time, Diarmaid remains f a i t h f u l to feudal and familial obligations by keeping a cold stone between himself and Grainne while they sleep. At last, however, when Grainne tauntingly makes an unflattering comparison between her seemingly timid companion and the bold water which accidentally 15 Newstead, p. 127. 16 Gertrude Schoepperle. Tristan and Isoltt a Study of the  Sources of the Romance, expanded by a bibliography and c r i t i c a l essay on Tristan scholarship since 1912 by R. S. Loomis (2 vols.; 2nd ed.5 New York: Burt Franklin, I960), II, 395-^17. 12 splashes her leg, Diarmaid resists her no longer, and they become lovers. The motif of f l i g h t into the forest to escape the wrath of the uncle and husband appears i n identical form i n the f l i g h t of Tristram and Iseult into the forest of Morrois; that of the splashing water occurs i n altered circumstances, i n the episode by which the maidenly state of Tristram*s wife, Iseult of Brittany, i s revealed to her angered brother. The Tristram legfnd, as recorded i n the early French romances, retains a core of Celtic material. 1? Tristram i s described as a hero of extraordinary and varied accomplishments, many of which are characteristically C e l t i c . He i s a mighty warrior of prodigious strength, able to leap remarkable distances and defeat the most for-bidding giants and dragons; a musician unexcelled i n harping and singing; a master woodsman who, though supreme i n the chivalric art of yenery, also possesses a magic bow which always hits i t s mark, and i s skilled i n imitating bird-whistles—in short, a hero i n some respects better suited to the folk-tale than to the more sophisticated romance• The knowledge of leechcraft, amounting to an almost magical power of healing, i s a characteristically Celtic attribute of the heroine, Iseult. Thus the characterization of the hero and heroine retained i n the 17 For information regarding"the Celtic and non-Celtic features of the early French romances, I am indebted to J . D. Bruce, I, 185-191. 13 French romances i s basically of Celtic origin* Also of Celtic origin i s the fundamental theme of the love story, Gertrude Schoepperle states* The story of Tristan and Isolt i s significant only as i t i s tr a g i c — t h e tale of two hapless mortals bound to each other by a supernatural power, and l i v i n g i n the midst of a society i n which their love violates a sacred and indissoluble tie.18 Joseph Beaier has contendedl9 that since according to Welsh. law the marriage vow was not irrevocable, the tragic import of the romance could not have been a Celtic development of the legend. In Tristan and Iseult: a Study of the Sources of the Romance, however, Miss Schoepperle clearly proves: • • • not only that a tragic treatment of unlawful love was possible among the Celts, but that there were numerous tragic versions of the theme i n Old Iri s h literature.20 The existence of the Aitheda alone should be sufficient to indicate that the fundamental conflict of passion and law thematic i n the Tristan romances was understood by the Celtic peoples. The legend was probably transmitted to Britanny during the early eleventh century. In the early French romances, Tristram's father i s called not by the Pictish 18 Schoepperle, I, 2. 19 Cited by Bruce, I, 187. 20 Schoepperle, I, 3» "Talorc" or the Welsh "Tallwch," but by a Breton name, "Rivalen." There was at V i t r e a c e r t a i n l o r d named T r i s t a n who ruled between 1030 and 10^5, and was the son 21 of a Rivalen. Miss Newstead has suggested that Tallwch may have been renamed to honour t h i s noble Breton family, and that, i f t h i s be true, the C e l t i c legend reached Brittany i n the early part of the eleventh century. The abundance of French and Breton features occurring i n the e a r l i e s t written versions of the T r i s t a n legend indicates the large extent to which i t was embroidered by the French romancers. The names of "Rivalen,S Tristi*am£s father, and "Blancheflor," h i s mother, are Breton, as indicated above, and French, res p e c t i v e l y . Since the story of the love of Tristram 1s parents and the circumstances of h i s b i r t h are absent from the Welsh t r a d i t i o n , i t has been deduced that t h i s portion of the legend originated i n France or Brittany, and was added a f t e r the story's importation from B r i t a i n . 2 2 . The name of "Hoel, 1" Tristram's father-in-law, i s also Breton. 2 3 Since the marriage to Iseul t of the White Hands i s s i m i l a r l y unmentioned i n the 21 Newstead, p. 128 22 Bruce, I, 186. 23 I b i d . 15 Welsh tradition, and since the widespread folk-motif of the man loved by two wives occurs i n a Breton l a i , 2 l f this portion of the legend may be another of the Breton accretions, although the water-splashing motif i s clearly Irish. The magic dog, "Petitcriu," i s obviously French. The Breton folk-tale i n which the hero slays a dragon to which a princess i s to be sacrificed, and later by displaying the dragon's tongue exposes a false claimant who possesses only i t s head,25 i s fused i n the Tristram romances with the similar rescue episode from the Irish saga, The Wooing of Emer. discussed above. Although the device of the white and black signal sails i s derived ultimately from the classical Theseus legend, i t s immediate source was probably o£ a Breton folk-tale. Certain elements of the early Tristan romances were imported indirectly from Oriental sources. The episode i n which Iseult attempts to preserve her secret by murdering Brangien i s ultimately an Oriental theme, although, as Miss Newstead shows,2? the f i r s t European version occurs i n an early Irish exemplum on the virtue of 2h Newstead, p. 129. 2 5 Ibid. 26 Ibid. 2 7 Ibid., p. 130. 16 penitence. The equivocal oath comes ultimately from the Hindu Act of Truth, which became a popular device i n Sanskrit tales of the deceptions practiced by unfaithful wives, 2 8 The episode of the tryst beneath the pine tree combines the plot of "The Carpenter's Wife"1 with the setting of "The Enchanted Tree," two Oriental fabliaux which achieved widespread popularity i n medieval Europe,29 Oriental literature may also have influenced the story of Tristram's marriage, since, as Miss Newstead shows,^° the famous Arabic romance of the poet Kais ibn Doreidsch and Lobna i s strikingly similar i n outline to this portion of the legend; this romance appears to have been adapted to the Breton l a i of the man loved by two wives, and further enlarged by the addition of the splashing water incident from the Irish Diarmaid and Gralnne. Thus i n the course of i t s transmission from Britain through Brittany to France, the original legend acquired a great many new embellishments. Most scholars today agree with the theory,3 1 expounded chiefly by Prof. W, Golther, Joseph B&dier, and Gertrude Schoepperle, that the original Celtic legend was f i r s t given l i t e r a r y form i n a lost French romance now 28 Newstead, p, 130. 29 Ibid., p. 131. 30 Ibid.-, pp. 131-132. 31 Bruce, I, 153-157. 17 referred to as the Ur-Tristan. and that a l l the medieval l a i s and romances concerning the legend were ultimately derived from this version. The close similarity of a l l the extant early versions of the story i s too remarkable to be explained by any other reason than that of a common written . source. Some scholars32 bave suggested that the lost Ur-Tristan i s actually identical with the non-extant "Del r o i Marc et d'Iseut l a blonde" which Chretien de Troyes includes i n a l i s t of his works recorded i n the Cliges. There are several strong objections to this theory, however. F i r s t , since the name of Tristan i s absent from the t i t l e , i t seems l i k e l y that the poem, i f i t ever existed, treated only a brief episode, whereas the Ur-Tristan must have recorded the legend i n f u l l . Secondly, according to J. D. Bruce,33 the Ur-Tristan was a masterpiece superior to even the most mature of Chretien's romances, whereas Chretien's "Del r o i Marc ... M , as mentioned i n the Cliges, i s li s t e d among the works of his youth. Thirdly, i n a l l the literature of the Middle Ages, there i s no other allusion to this poem by Chretien, and i t i s therefore highly probable that the poem was either never written, never completed, or never made public. Thus i t i s unlikely i n the extreme that "Del r o i Marc et d'Iseut l a blonde" i s actually the long-sought Ur-Tristan. 32 Cited by Bruce, I, 155-156 33 Bruce, I, 155 • 18 According to Prof. W. Golther^ 1* the fact that most early French poets have linked the story of Tristram with.that of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table indicates that the Ur-Tristan poet must also have made this connection, and therefore must have been familiar with Geoffrey of Monmouth1s Historia Regum Britannlae. the principal medieval source of Arthurian materials. The linking of Tristram with Arthur, however, appears frequently enough i n the Welsh fragments, as J . D. Bruce shows,^ to suggest that the connection had already been made during the story's sojourn i n Wales and Cornwall. Of course, i t cannot be definitely established that the early French Tristram poems did not influence the Welsh versions, which exist only i n manuscripts of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, but several of the early French poems do link the names of Arthur and Tristram i n a manner suggesting an established native tradition. Therefore, since the connection of Tristram with Arthur appears to be a Celtic tradition, and since Tristram i s entirely unmentioned i n Geoffrey of Monmouth's work, there i s no.sound reason for setting the terminus a quo of the Ur-Tristan at 1137» the date of the Historia Regum Britannlae. The frequent references to the love-story of Tristram and Iseult occurring i n French troubadour songs of 31* Cited by Bruce, I, 152. 35 Bruce, I, 152. 19 the twelfth century suggest that these poets must have been familiar with the Ur-Tristan. Probably the earliest such reference i s that made by the Poitou poet, Bernhard of Ventadour, i n a song which has been tentatively dated by Bedier at Several scholars, Miss Schoepperle among them, have contended that the dating of this poem i s entirely uncertain, and that 1151* cannot therefore be established as the terminus ad auem of the Ur-Tristan. Most scholars,36 however, accept the theory that the Ur-Tristan was composed during the mid-twelfth century, and probably, as Frederick Whitehead suggests,37 between 1150 and 1160. According to Joseph Bedier and Prof. W. Golther,38 the poems of Thomas, Eilhart, and Beroul are immediate derivatives of the common source, the Ur-Tristan. The poems of Eilhart and Beroul are essentially a single version of the legend, known as the version des .jongleurs, and considered very close to the version of the Ur-Tristan. Thomas's poem and i t s derivatives form what i s called the version courtoise. which departs more extensively from the source. These two versions are distinguished primarily by the treatment of the love-potion* whereas i n the version des jongleurs, the duration of the effects of the love-potion i s limited to a 36 Bruce, I, 152-153. 37 Frederick Whitehead, "The Early Tristan Poems," i n Arthurian Literature i n the Middle Agest a Collaborative  History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959)« P. 137. 38 Cited by Whitehead, p. 137. 20 period of three or four years, in the version courtoise its duration is unlimited, and the lovers voluntarily separate not because their love has weakened, but because they suffer from a consciousness of sin. Probably the poem most faithful to the substance of the Ur-Tristan is the Tristant of the German Eilhart von Oberge, probably written between 1170^ and l l89. l f 0 It is a very long poem, well oyer 10,000 lines, and an absurdly formal treatment of its subject. Of Eilhart fs poem, George P. McNeill says: His work is long, dull, and conventional, padded with interminable soliloquies and tediously minute descriptions. He wrote for the court D>f Henry the LionJ and his manner is punctilious to affectation. . . .4"1 Eilhart*s poem, in spite of its length, gives only the bare facts of the archetypal narrative. Frederick Whitehead remarks: The narrative is in places drastically abridged, and i t is usually passages of great psychological interest that suffer most.4"2 The poem did, however, influence several later treatments of the Tristram legend. Close to Eilhart*s Tristant in the substance of its narrative is the Tristan of Beroul, a Norman poet of Amiens. 39 Whitehead, p. 136. 40 Bruce, I, 159. .41 George P. McNeill, ed..'Sir Tristrem (Edinburgh and London: Blackwood and Sons, 1886), p. xvi. 42 Whitehead, p. 138. 21 This poem, which exists i n a unique fragmentary manuscript of k9h85 lines, i s approximately contemporary with that of Eilhart, since i t has been dated as written between 1165 and 1191• Although i t i s the work of a jongleur rather than a courtly.minstrel, and addressed to a common rather than courtly audience, i t places far more emphasis upon psychological motivation than does the Tristant of Eilhart, and i s far more feudal i n atmosphere. According to Frederick Whitehead, Beroul: . . . tries to vindicate the lovers' conduct i n terms of feudal law. What matters i s not whether Tristan and i s o l t are guilty but whether they can be proved to be so by the standards of feudal justice. Tristan behaves correctly i n submitting to the king, refrains from violence against the barons who demand punishment, and he has therefore the right to t r i a l by battle. In refusing this right, Mark becomes i n a sense the offender and hence God rescues Tristan by a miracle (the leap from the chapel).^ The frequent references to Arthurian materials i n both this poem and Eilhart's attest to the connection, firmly established by this time, of the Tristram legend with the whole body of Arthurian romances. Also contemporary with the Tristant of Eilhart von Oberge i s the Tristan of an.Anglo-Norman poet, Thomas, who may have written under the patronage of Eleanor of Acquitaine. Because of his use of Wace's Brut and the Cliges of Chretien de Troyes as well as the hypothetical Ur-Tristan. his work i s 1+3 Bruce, I, 159. hh Whitehead, p. I*f0. 22 assumed to have been written between 1155 and 1170 A Although his poem, which i s the source of a l l subsequent treatments belonging to the version courtoise, i s extant only i n non-continuous fragments totalling about 3,000 lines, the missing portions.have been reconstructed by Joseph Bedler*4^ through comparison of the later derivative versions, so that a study of the complete text i s now possible, Thomas seems to have considerably modified the material of the Ur-Tristan, reducing the elements of fantasy and savagery and infusing the machinery of amour  courtois. In Thomas's version of the legend, Tristan's fantastic quest for the princess whose strand of golden hair has been brough to Mark by two swallows i s replaced by a more rational, purposeful voyage to seek Iseult for Mark's bride. The savagery with which Mark punishes Iseult by abandoning her to a band of lepers to satisfy their lust i s replaced by his banishment of the lovers; he allows them to depart unmolested and later, when convinced of their innocence, he peacefully restores them to the court. Tristan's violation of feudal and familial obligations i s ju s t i f i e d not by the feudal right to battle, but by the code of amour  courtois. Edwin H. Zeydel states: 45 Bruce, I, 157. H6 Joseph BSdier, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult (New York: Pantheon Books, 1945). 23 While Thomas seems not to have been the f i r s t to introduce courtly ideas into the romance, he deserves credit for modifying and curbing them so that they stand out more effectively. On the whole he tends to tone down the unbridled passion of the thoroughly uncourtly original tale, and to turn i t into tender emotion.^? Thomas's departure from the archetypal concept of the love-potion as a magic spell of limited duration i s perhaps his most important contribution to the development of the Tristram romance. As Frederick Whitehead states: Thomas's primary theme i s the exaltation of love. True love proceeds from 'desir*, the longing of the heart, and from 'raison', not from 'volelr', the lusts of the flesh. . • • Most significant.. . . i s Thomas's refusal to believe that the power of the potion really waned. So there i s no repentant v i s i t of the lovers to a hermit, as i n Eilhart and Beroul.48 The infusion of this concept of love into the version of the legend given by the archetypal narrative was, as Frederick Whitehead comments, an achievement worthy of praise: To be sure, Thomas was not consistently successful i n idealizing and refining the old legend. . . . The task *hich he attempted, to f i t together the old plot and his new conception, called for more drastic procedures than he could or would adopt. The archetype depicted a w>rld where love at i t s highest 47 Edwin H. Zeydel, ed. and trans., The 'Tristan and Isolde' of Gottfried von Strassburg (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1948), p. 10. 48 Whitehead, p. 142 2h was a criminal infatuation and at i t s lowest an overmastering l u s t . One may sympathize, therefore, with a poet who sought to rise, ., not always successfully, into a better world .^ "9 A brief episode from the Tristram story i s the subject of a l a i , Chievrefueil, composed by Marie de France at some time between 1165 and 1189*^ The poem describes that one of the many secret trysts i n which Tristan lays a hazel wand entwined with honeysuckle i n Iseult*s path as a signal of his presence. Although very brief, the l a i successfully conveys the tragic emotion which i s at the heart of the legend. As Ernest Hoepffner comments: 'Bele amie, s i est de nus: Ne vus sanz mei, ne mei sanz vus.' In this couplet we have the essence of the whole Tristan legend. In i t s harmonious simplicity i t reveals not only the art of Marie but also the profound feeling with \jhich she entered into the sorrows and the joys of her characters.51 It i s a striking testimony to the popularity of the legend at this time that i n describing this brief episode, Marie was able to assume i n her audience a complete familiarity with the characters and the entire history of their i l l -fated love1. **9 Whitehead, p. 1^ 3. 50 Alfred Ewert, ed., Marie de France Lais (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 19*<-7)« p. x. 51 Ernest Hoepffner, "The Breton Lais," i n Arthurian  Literature i n the Middle Ages: a Collaborative History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), p. 118. 25 Another episode from the legend i s described i n the anonymous poem fragment. Le Domnei des Amanz. also written i n the last quarter of the twelfth century.^ 2 This fragment i s significant because i t contains the f i r s t mention i n French literature of Tristan's remarkable s k i l l i n the imitation of bird-whistles. Isolt, hearing her lover's imitation of bird-songs i n the garden below, braves the dangers which encompass her i n order to join him, and her bravery i s employed by the poet to i l l u s t r a t e the f i t t i n g moral that there can be no love without courage. The episode of Tristan's assumption of madness as a disguise enabling him to v i s i t Iseult secretly was given independent treatment i n two short Norman-French poems both entitled La Folie Tristan. Both of these poems are based upon derivatives of the Ur-Tristan. The Oxford manuscript version, which i s the work of an Anglo-Norman poet of the late twelfth century,-^ i s plainly derived from the Tristan of Thomas. The version of the Berne manuscript was composed i n the early thirteenth 54 century by a continental Norman poet, and i s clearly related to Beroul's treatment of the episode. Although the Oxford version i s generally considered the better of 52 Bruce, I, 175.. 53 Ibid.. 160-161. 54 Ibid.. 161. 26 the two, Frederick Whitehead states that: Both poems handle with humour, vivacity, and poignant feeling the dramatic poss i b i l i t i e s of the theme.55 The Tristan of the German poet, Gottfried von Strassburg, i s one of the finest renderings i n the whole history of the legend. Edwin H. Zeydel says: Gottfried's work has been prized as a great masterpiece ever since about ,^  1215, when probably death forced him to leave i t unfinished. It i s based upon a fierce and passionate bid tale which was already very popular i n Europe when Gottfried took i t up. But he refined i t with a l l the good taste. ^ subtlety and grace of a consummate a r t i s t . ' 0 Gottfried based his poem upon the Tristan of Thomas, and followed his source closely. Many of the refinements distinguishable between his poem and the Ur-Tristan are due to the preparatory efforts of Thomas. W. T. H. Jackson states: To Thomas are to be attributed . . . the refinement of the tone, the shedding of much coarseness and cruelty, the details of the courtly setting, and the paramount interest i n character rather than incident.57 There are few episodes i n Gottfried's poem which do not correspond closely to the narrative of his source. It i s only i n the matter of emphasis and i n the concept of the 55 whitehead, p. lM+. 56 Zeydel, p. h. 57 W. T. H. Jackson. "Gottfried von Strassburg," i n Arthurian Literature i n the Middle Ages: a Collaborative  History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959). n. I*f6 27 i l l - f a t e d love that his poem differs markedly from i t s source* Mr. Jackson remarks that: • • • with Gottfried, incident i s less important than motivation, action less important than feeling. It i s i n this regard that Thomas and Gottfried stand far apart. For Thomas i s interested i n his main characters as human beings moving i n a society motivated by normal human passions and controlled by a code essentially secular, whatever originally Christian elements i t may contain. Gottfried . . . sees i n their love a reflection i n human terms of .the bond between the mystic and his God.58 Gottfried follows Thomas i n establishing the narrative within a milieu of amour courtois. Edwin H. Zeydel says: Already one of the best-told and richest tales i n the wonderful storehouse of medieval narrative literature, i t became i n Gottfried's hands a unique panorama of passionate love-romance, minstrelsy, adventure, knightly battles-royal, and keen moral and psychological observation. We find ourselves i n a world of perfect medieval courtoisie .59 But although the tale i s set amid these external features of the courtly l i f e , the love-story i t s e l f i s , as Mr. Jackson has demonstrated,°0 n o t governed by the canon of amour courtois. Since the innate nobility of the 58 Jackson, p. 147* 59 Zeydel, p. 5» 60 Jackson, pp. 148-149* 28 lovers causes them to despise subterfuge, the normal courtly view of l i f e i s for them unsatisfactory, and courtly conduct brings them only misery. Unlike Mark, who can conceive of love only i n i t s sensual form and thus constantly seeks evidence only of physical contact as proof of their i n f i d e l i t y , the lovers are among the company of edele hertzen who can understand and experience a spir i t u a l and mystical love, and for whom the courtly concept of love i s inadequate. Tristan's disloyalty to Mark, which i s a violation of courtly honour, i s jus t i f i e d i n Gottfried's the transcendent power of the love-potion. W. T. H. Jackson states that: . . . there can be no question of free w i l l here, of a loose and cynical disregard for a l l feelings of honour i n the determination to satisfy sensual desires. The lovers act under compulsion and this compulsion i s symbolized by the Minnetrank."1 The love-potion i s thus conceived as a seal of destiny externally imposed, and as a,power which l i f t s i t s victims above a l l moral restrictions. It i s a symbol at once of new l i f e i n a spiritual, ennobling love, and of the inevitable death to which that love must lead. Gottfried's originality i s most evident i n his treatment of the episode of the lovers' banishment and 6l Jackson j p> .15*2. 29 subsequent so j ourn i n the forest. In his poem they dwell not i n a leafy bower, but i n a stone love-grotto, which allegprically represents a temple of love. It i s here that the love of Tristan and Iseult reaches a supreme spiritual and mystical realizations Mr. Jackson comments that: The grotto i s a place of miracles, not merely a hiding place. For here the lovers* misery.changes to delight, they are fed magically by their love and need no other food, 0 2 It i s i n this episode that the mystical allegory of their love become.s apparent: There can be no doubt that Gottfried i s drawing deliberate comparisons between the love of Tristan and Isolt and Christian mysticism and eueharistic communion. The ecstasy of the Christian soul yearning for the heavenly Bridegroom and losing completely i t s individual entity i s translated into terms of earthly passion. The lovers experience this ecstasy while on earth although such ecstasy can. short-lived while i t i s unable to free i t s e i f from the demon of sensual passion. • • • Only by death can their love be freed from this snare and the •love-death* means that the lovers can be reunited In mystic love, freed from a l l grossness and carnal attraction. b3 It i s because of Gottfried's concept of the spiritualizing force of love that this poem i s the most sympathetic, as well as perhaps the most beautiful, of the medieval 62 Jackson, py 154 63 | M d . Tristram stories* Mr. Jackson states: Gottfried's Tristan i s one of the greatest achievements of medieval literature. In his delineation of human love, the poet embraces a l l contemporary knowledge and refines i t for his purposes. For him the dominance of Minne i n the world i s a sublime and noble thing. It can be debased by sensual passion and misunderstood by lesser s p i r i t s , but i n i t s purest form i t exalts to the skies. Such a love i s that of., Gottfried's Tristan and I s o l t . Unfortunately, Gottfried's Tristan i s incomplete; i t breaks off abruptly, after 19,573 lines, at the point of Tristan's marriage to Iseult of the White Hands. Two later German poets, Ulrich von Tftrheim and Heinrich von Freiberg, wrote continuations of Gottfried's poem about 12*f0 and 1290 respectively. 6^ Unhappily, both of these poets drew their material from Eilhart von Oberge's Tristant. a source of which Gottfried disapproved, rather than from Thomas's Tristan, and both continuators were entirely unable to recapture the s p i r i t of the poem. It i s with a sense of anticlimax that we turn from the masterpiece of Gottfried von Strassburg to the Tristan which marks the f i r s t appearance of the legend i n French narrative prose. This prose romance, by an unknown author, has been variously dated between 1215 and (h Jackson, p. 156 65 Zeydel, p. 8. 31 1230. 0 It has not survived i n i t s original form, but versions thereof exist i n a great many manuscripts and printed editions. Two principal versions have been distinguisheds an earlier one written between 122? and 1235, attributed to the probably f i c t i t i o u s Anglo-Norman, Luce de Gast, and a later one written i n the last half of the thirteenth century, attributed to the f i c t i t i o u s Helie de Boron.^7 The second version, upon which a l l the printed editions are based, i s the longer, and i s frequently connected i n manuscripts with the Vulgate cycle of prose; romances. It i s from these two versions that the original prose Tristan has been reconstructed. The prose. Tristan was greatly influenced by the prose Lancelot cycle. Although the writer seems to have known the poems of Thomas, Eilhart, and Beroul, his narrative i s f i l l e d with the machinery of thirteenth-century courtly romance—tournaments, chivalric feats, knightly adventures, and romantic digressions of a courtly nature, a l l of which are extraneous to the subject of the verse romances—all modelled, as J. D. Bruce shows,^ upon similar features i n the Lancelot. 66 Bruce, I, .160. 67.Eugene Vinaver, "The Prose Tristan. H : i n Arthurian  Literature i n the Middle Ages: as Collaborative History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959), p. 339. 68 Bruce, I, 484-485. 32 L i t t l e of the original tale remains: the story has f a l l e n away i n plot and characterization, and the originally thematic love-story has given way to the emphasis on chivalric adventures. Of the prose Tristan Miss Jessie L. Weston remarks: The details of the beautiful old love poem, the poignant tragedy of Tristan and.Iseult, are lost sight of. In a fragmentary form they s t i l l exist, but are buried out of sight underneath the great mass of Arthurian accretion. It i s no longer the love of Tristan for Iseult which i s the central interest of the story, but the rivalry between Tristan and Lancelot, which of the two shall be reckoned 'the best knight i n the world'.°9 Tristan i s completely "Arthurized"—he has been made a Knight.Pf the Round Table, and created anew i n the mold of Lancelot. Mark i s no longer a victim of the dichotomy between love and loyalty, but a treacherous v i l l a i n , and an enemy of Arthurian chivalry whom i t is.Tristan 1s special privilege to keep i n check. The concept of love which illumined the poems of Thomas and Gottfried yon Strassburg i s absent from the prose Tristan; Eugene Vinaver states that: The tragic tale of unlawful love yields to a romance of chivalry with itsi c h ^ a c t e r i s t i c a l i y simple scale of values, and i t s condemnation of a l l that l i e s beyond the narrow boundaries of the •adventurous kingdom1.'0 69 Jessie L. Weston. The Legend of Sir Lancelot du Lac (London: David Nutt, 1901), p. 117. 70 Vinaver, p. 3^ -0 33 The account of Tristan's death given i n the majority of the prose T r i s t a n texts introduces an entirely new version of the episode. In the mss. B.N. f r . 103 and the early printed, editions, the narrative follows the poetic tradition; but i n a l l other manuscripts and texts Tristan i s k i l l e d not by a poisoned arrow i n f l i c t e d i n combat, but by a treacherous blow from Mark, who attacks without warning as.Tristan sits playing his harp and singing for Iseult. According to Gertrude Schoepperle?! this account i s a survival of an older Celtic version i n which Tristan remained unmarried. Vinaver, however, believes that: • • .the author was anxious to conclude the story with a f i n a l encounter between the hero and the v i l l a i n and so provide a f i t t i n g ending to a romance i n which the hero was a victim of the e v i l designs of a wicked king. There i s no need to imagine behind this version a primitive.Celtic theme not previously used. ... ..'^  The prose Tristan lacks the fundamental concept of tragic, i l l - f a t e d love which i s the essence of the legend. Eugene Vinaver comments: Of the original character of the Tristan poems, of the blending of magic and tragedy which had made the legend great, few traces remain i n the prose romance. . . .?3 71 Cited by Vinaver, p. 3>k2. 72 Vinaver, p. 342. 73 Ib£d., p. 3^7. Unfortunately the prose Tristan, the most defective of a l l the twelfth- and thirteenth-century treatments, so rapidly and completely superseded a l l other versions of the legend that, from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth, i t remained the only version i n which the Tristram legend was known.?1* 71*- Vinaver, p. 3^ 6. CHAPTER II THE TRISTRAM LEGEND IN MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE The earliest treatment of the Tristram legend i n medieval English i s the thirteenth-century narrative poem, Sir Tristrem. The only extant copy of the work i s an incomplete text i n the Auchinlech manuscript, which contains nineteen of the twenty or more original f o l i o s . From this text i t has been deduced that the poem was written i n the latter half of the thirteenth century, possibly as late as 1300,1 i n the dialect of either the northwest English Midlands or the Scottish Lowlands. The authorship of the Sir Tristrem i s entirely uncertain, but internal evidence has offered two possible theories. 2 The opening stanza of the poem begins: I was at Erceldoune WiJ? tomas spak y j?are. . . .3 Since several other passages also make reference to this Thomas of Erceldoune, known to be the histo r i c a l figure, Thomas the Rhymer, who lived near the Scottish border town 1 Albert C. Baugh, ed.. A Literary History of England (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 194b"), p. 192. 2 Discussed by George P. McNeill, ed., Sir Tristrem (Edinburgh and London: Blackwood and Sons, lbb6), pp. xxxii-xlv. 3 Sir Tristrem. 11. 1-2. 35 of Berwick i n the middle of the thirteenth century, Sir Walter Scott and George P. McNeill, among others, have concluded that the author was Thomas of Erceldoune and that he used this oblique method of drawing attention to himself. Further evidence supporting this theory i s offered by the Chronicle of England written by Robert Mannyng of Brunne i n about 1330* I see i n song, i n sedgeyng tale Of Erceldoune and of Kendale, Non j»am says as pal |?am wroght. And i n f»er sayng i t semes noght, fat may {?ou here i n s i r Tristrem, I f men i t sayd, as made Thomas.1*-Thus i t seems that the author's near contemporaries assumed him to be Thomas of Erceldoune, Several scholars, Eugen Kolbing and W. H. Schofield among them, have denied the r e l i a b i l i t y of this evidence, however. Since the Sir  Tristrem i s obviously based upon the Tristan of Thomas, they believe that an unknown author confused the Anglo-Norman Thomas of Brittany with the local rhymer, Thomas of Erceldoune, and thus cited misleading references i n his poem. The manner of narration suggests, as George P. McNeill says,5" that the poem was written for an audience already well acquainted with the legend. The story i s condensed into a brevity which, although admirably h Quoted by McNeill, ed., Sir Tristrem. p. xxxv. 5 McNeill, Sir Tristrem. p. x l v i . spirited and v i v i d at times, does at other times render the plot v i r t u a l l y unintelligible to a reader lacking previous knowledge. The narrative moves along very rapidly, the episodes being brief and the transitions abrupt. Frequent entreaties that the audience "l i s t e n " indicate, as McNeill remarks,6 that the poem was intended primarily for oral recitation. Like a l l the other writers who have composed versions of the Tristram legend, the poet of the Sir Tristrem was not content with writing a laboriously f a i t h f u l rendition of his source. Thomas C. Rumble says: . . . he was l i t t l e interested i n present-ing the psychological intricacies of a system of courtly love which, probably, he did not understand i n the f i r s t place. What he vas concerned with . . . was the presentation of a story so rationalized and so moralized that i t would satisfy i n terms of i t s own implicit solace and sentence the expectations of his relatively uncultured audience.7 Thus although the Sir Tristrem poet followed the substance of Thomas's Tristan very closely, he did alter certain details i n order to adapt the narrative to the tastes of his audience. The poet's attempts at rationalizing his story 6 McNeill, p. x l v i i . 7 Thomas G. Rumble, "The Middle English S i r Tristrem: Towards a Reappraisal," Comparative Literature. XI, No. 3 (Summer, 1959), 223. 38 usually consist of supplying additional evidence or motivation to.reinforce those already present i n his source. Mark, for instance, i s convinced of Tristrem 1s guilt by the double evidence of footprints i n the snow and a scrap of Tristrem 1s garment caught on a board i n Ysonde's chamber. Hodain's extraordinary f i d e l i t y to Tristrem, which i n Thomas's poem i s motivated by the normal love of a dog for i t s master, i s explained i n the Si r Tristrem by the dog's having licked the cup contain-ing the dregs of the love philtre. Another less success-f u l attempt at rationality i s the innovation of making Tristrem's four major antagonists a l l brothers; according to Thomas C. Rumble,8 this detail was added i n order to motivate the slaying of each as part of Tristram's general revenge on his father's murderer. But whatever rational-i t y there i s i n such a revenge motif i s certainly out-weighed by the implausibility of the fraternal relation-ship among two warriors and two superhuman giants of four different nationalities. The morality the Sir Tristrem i s not that of the amour courtois vihieh governs the Tristan of Thomas, but that of Christian ethics and conduct. In justifying his marriage to the second Ysonde, Tristrem takes the attitude that his relationship with Ysonde of Ireland i s adulterous and therefore, according to 8 Rumble, Comparative Literature, p. 225*. "the boke," si n f u l . On Tristrem*s piety, Thomas C. Rumble commentss . . . so far as I can find, there i s i n no other version of the story anything l i k e the Christian humility which the Tristrem poet attributes to his hero i n battle—the invocation of divine aid and the realization of a need to put the out-come of his struggles i n God's hands.9 Since Tristrem's humility increases with each success-ive battle, there wuld seem to be an attempt by the poet to show a gradual development i n character. The atmosphere of the S i r Tristrem i s i n many respects more primitive than that of Gottfried's poem, or of their common source, the Tristan of Thomas. The hero of the Sir Tristrem i s far more pugnacious than his counterparts i n either of these poems. He enters his battles not with desire for chivalric honours but with sheer love of combat for i t s own sake, and succeeds i n his endeavours not by s k i l l i n arms but by the force of his marvellous brute strength. Thus his behaviour i n battle accords i l l with his pious words. During their exile i n the forest of Morrois, the lovers are sheltered i n Thomas's poem by a leafy bower and i n Gottfried's by a beautifully-appointed stone grotto, but i n the Sir  Tristrem they take refuge i n an earthen hut which Tristrem builds. This primitive atmosphere pervading the Sir 9 Rumble, Comparative Literature, p. 227. Tristrem suggests more the effect of the Anglo-Saxon epic than that of the relatively sophisticated medieval French romance, an effect which i s enhanced by the elaborate al l i t e r a t i v e patterns incorporated into the stanzaic form of the poem. Since the Sir Tristrem i s more primitive i n s p i r i t than i t s source, the Tristan of Thomas, the poem would seem almost certainly to have been deliberately created so i n order to recapture the tone of an early folk tradition. Although frequent references to Tristram and Iseult were made i n the literature of medieval England,^ 0 there was no new treatment of the Tristam legend u n t i l nearly two hundred years after the writing of the Sir  Tristrem. Sir Thomas Malory's prose romance, the Morte  d 1 Arthur, completed about l M - 7 0 , 1 1 contains i n "The Book of Sir Tristram of Lyones" the last of the medieval versions of the Tristram legend. Eugene Vinaver says of Malory: His attitude towards the legacy of the Middle Ages was essentially that of a moralist. . . . He used his 'French books' to show his readers how virtuous knights had come fto honour, and how they that were vycious were punysshed and ofte put to shame and rebuke'. And he wished 1 0 E.g.: Chaucer, Legend of Good Women: Gower, Confessio Amantis: Lydgate, Temple of Glas. 1 1 Eugene Vinaver, Malory (Oxford: Clarendon, 1 9 2 9 ) , p. 1 . 'al noble lordes and ladyes • • • that shal see and rede i n this sayd book and werke' to 'take the good and honest actes into their remembraunce and to folowe the same'.12 Malory was thus conscious of a moral purpose i n composing the Morte d'Arthur. He wrote his work i n an earnest endeavour to restore to the l i f e of England the moral grandeur which he believed to be inherent i n the practice of chivalry. In writing "The Book of Sir Tristram of Lyones," Malory used for his narrative certain variant forms of the French prose Tristan which can be traced i n three manuscripts!3 now i n the Bibliotheque Nationale. He was thus dependent upon that version of the legend most adulterated by the influence of the Vulgate cycle of .Arthurian romances. Many of the faults of Malory's version have thus been inherited from i t s source, while most of i t s virtues can be attributed to his alterations of the material provided by the French prose Tristan. Malory's version differs from that of his source i n several ways. The most obvious alteration i s the degree of condensation—Malory used only two of the three books of the French romance, and condensed them i n his narrative into one sixth of their former length. 12 Vinaver, pp. 55-56. 13 B.N. f r . 103 , 331*, and 99; see Ibid., p. 139. 42 He replaced the traditional scene in which Tristan feigns madness as a disguise by an invented episode, referred to by Vinaver as • • probably his finest and most subtle contribution to the story, • • . , , l l f in which the hero is driven to genuine madness by his despair. Because, as Vinaver remarks,^ 5 he had no sympathy for the French tradition of amour courtois. Malory also reduced the courtly element, emphasizing instead the romantic sentiment. But in plot and characterization, his version of the legend follows closely the prose Tristan. Because of the close association of Malory's source with the Vulgate cycle of prose romances, his version of the story is full of the Arthurian chlvalric machinery. The element of chivalry, stressed throughout the Morte d'Arthur, is employed in the Tristram portion particularly in its relation to the treatment of women. The chivalric attitude to women, as described by Malory, is rather strange; they seem to be treated, not as wives or paramours, and not often as objects of adoration, but rather as feudal possessions. Thus when Tristram and Isode first plight their troth, she accepts him as her 14 Eugene Vinaver, ed., The Works of Sir Thomas Malory (3 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1947), III, 1494. 15 Eugene Vinaver, "Sir Thomas Malory," in Arthurian  Literature in the Middle Ages: a Collaborative History, ed. R. S. Loomis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959), p. 5^ 7. knight for a period of seven years, and agrees to accept his selection of her husband; when he later seeks her for Mark's bride, he experiences no sense of passionate or tragic loss. The treatment of women as property i s even more apparent i n the brief abductions of Isode by Palomydes and of the wife of Segwarydes by Bleoberys. These knights simply ask an unstated boon, which to defend his honour Mark must grant, and then demand and seize their respective ladies, and i t becomes the duty of the knights of the court to give pursuit and attempt to recover the stolen property. Malory's employment of this aspect of feudalism i n a work intended to exemplify the moral value of chivalry can be explained only by a naive belief that the moral value of the heroic.rescue of a lady i n distress outweighs the immorality of her antecedent abduction. Malory's belief i n the moral significance of chivalry i s naive i n the extreme. Eugdne Vinaver remarks: With less f a i t h i n the moral elevation and educational value of Malory's romance, we can only accept his modest effort as an expression of his simple and narrow ideal. His was not a crusading chivalry raised to i t s highest energy by the reunion of the knightly and monastic ideals of service, love, and sacrifice. What he advocated were the comfortable virtues of a righteous gentleman who 'does after the good and leaves the e v i l ' , but whose spiritual attainments are limited to social discipline and good manners.16 It is the narrowness of Malory's concepts of chivalry and morality which creates such incongruities as that described above. In the extensive emphasis in the Morte d1Arthur upon Arthurian chivalry, l i t t l e of the characterization of the original Tristram legend remains. Tristram retains his skill in harping, and some of his primitive pugnacious tendencies, but otherwise he is a stereo^ typed chivalric knight. As W. H. Schofield says* The manners and dress of the heroes and heroines are those of the' late days of chivalry. Tristram is a vastly different personage from vfoat he was even in the time of Thomas. He is now a conventional knight-errant, vino spends his time going about from one tourney to another, ever on the lookout for adventure.17 Isode has suffered a similar transformation* she is not the passionate, quick-witted, desperately faithful tragic heroine her progenitor was5 indeed, she thrives on tournaments, compliments, and court-life, and is seldom deeply affected by anything. The love-story of the original legend is, 16 Vinaver, Malory, p. 69. 17 W. H. Schofield, English Literature from the Norman  Conquest to Chaucer (London* Macmillan and Co., 1906), p. 211. l i k e the characterization, scarcely recognizable i n Malory's version.. The influence of the love-potion i s rendered almost negligible, since the lovers plight their troth before drinking i t , and enjoy romantic interludes with other lovers after doing so. During his enforced wanderings, Tristram forgets his love for La Beale Isode, and, encouraged by prospective "ryches", he willingly agrees to marry Isode le Blaunche Maynes, for whom he has rapidly conceived a great love. He experiences the traditional repentance upon his marriage bed, but this repentance i s motivated by fear of the i l l regard of his i d o l , Lancelot, rather than by genuine regret for his i n f i d e l i t y . Later, when Tristram reproaches Isode for her i n f i d e l i t y , he complains of the "Rychesse" he has sacrificed for her sake. Thus the love-story of Tristram and Iseult as i t was originally conceived has a l l but vanished i n Malory's work. Even the tragic love-death has disappeared. Although Malory had read the version of the French prose Tristan which gives the traditional account, he apparently preferred to follow that version of Tristram's death given by his other source manuscripts. He abandoned the tale of Tristram and Isode at the point of their happy sojourn at Joyous Garde and then, abruptly return-ing to the story i n a later portion of his work, described how Mark treacherously k i l l e d Tristram with a poisoned spear as the knight sat playing his harp for Isode, and how she instantly died of grief. Thus i n the Morte d fArthur T the legend of Tristram and Iseult i s a story vastly different from that given i n the early metrical romances. , The Tristram legend made but a brief appear-ance i n the literature of Renaissance England. In the sixth book of Edmund Spenser•s Faerie Queene, the knight Callidores encounters Tristram and pauses a moment i n his quest while they become acquainted. Tristram i s here revealed not as the rather pugnacious knight of the late prose romances, but as an unknighted lad of seventeen, already from instinctive nobility a defender of womankind and champion of justice. Of his traditional characterization, only two features remain: his a b i l i t y as a huntsman, and, i n a more youthful form, his amazing physical strength. Spenser makes no reference to the subject matter of the original Tristram legend beyond a brief, somewhat altered account of the hero's birth. Since his work was never completed, i t i s impossible even to conjecture whether or not he intended to relate the legend i n some later book, and i f so, i n what form and manner he would have employed i t . The Tristram legend &&& not receive a major treatment i n English literature subsequent to Malory's Morte d'Arthur u n t i l the mid-nineteenth century, when -I Q i t became the subject of three poems —Matthew Arnold's "Tristram and Iseultj" "The Last Tournament," one of Alfred Lord Tennysonis Idvlls of the King: and the Tristram of Lyonesse of Algernon Charles Swinburne. These Victorian treatments of the Tristram legend form the subject of the succeeding chapters. 18 Thomas Hardy's The Queen of Cornwall, published i n 1923 and written as a mummer's play for production by the Hardy Players of Stinsford, cannot properly be considered a Victorian treatment of the Tristram legend, and there-fore w i l l not be discussed i n this thesis. CHAPTER III MATTHEW ARNOLD'S "TRISTRAM AND ISEULT" I read the story of Tristram and Iseult some years ago at Thun i n an a r t i c l e i n a French review on the romance literatures I had never met with i t before, and i t fastened upon me. . • • 1 So confided Matthew Arnold on November 5, 1852, i n a let t e r to his former tutor, Herbert H i l l . The story which thus "fastened upon" him inspired the writing of the poem, "Tristram and Iseult," which, though probably composed during the late lo^fOs,^ was f i r s t published i n 1852 i n the volume, Empedocles on Etna and other poems. The narrative that Arnold read at Thun has been identif-ied by C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry as the f i r s t of a series of articles by Theodore de La VillemarquS on "Les poemes gallois et les romans de l a Table-Ronde."3 Near the beginning of this a r t i c l e La Villemarqu§ inserted a brief prose summary of the Tristram legend as i t *as told by the Anglo-Norman Thomas and Gottfried 1 Quoted by R. E. C'» Houghton i n "Letter of Matthew Arnold," Times Literary Supplement (May 19, 1932), p. 368.. 2 C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry, The Poetry of Matthew  Arnolds a Commentary (London and New Yorks Oxford University Press, 19^-0), p. 106. 3 Theodore de La Villemarqul, "Les Poemes gallois et les Romans de l a Table-Ronde," Revue de Paris. 3rd. ser. x m v U8 *n ) , 266-282. h9 von Strassburg, It was upon this version of the legend that Arnold founded his poem, Arnold would not have been discouraged by the fact that this legend had not received a major treatment i n English literature since the fifteenth century. In the Preface to his Poems of 1853, he vigorously attacked the opinion, quoted from an "apparently intelligent" anonymous c r i t i c i n the Spectator, that . . . the Poet who would really f i x the public attention must leave the exhausted past, and draw his subjects from matters of present import, and therefore both of interest and novelty. 4 -According to Arnold, the poet must select a subject which possesses an excellent action; and those actions are most excellent . • • which most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently i n the race, and which are independent of time. These feelings are permanent and the same; that which interests them i s permanent and the same also. The modernness or antiquity of an action, therefore, has nothing to do with i t s fitness for poetical represent-ation: this depends upon i t s inherent qualities• To the elementary part of our nature, to our passions, that which i s great and passionate i s eternally interesting; and interesting solely i n k- Matthew Arnold, The Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold. ed. C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry (London: Oxford University Press, 1950), p. xix. proportion to i t s greatness and to i t s passion,5 Ancient subjects, i f they possess an excellent action, are therefore neither remote nor exhausted, but time-less i n their appeal; and a medieval subject which touches the primary human affections may thus hold greater significance for an audience of the Victorian age than a less impressive subject drawn from the contemporary scene. That the Tristram legend, with i t s story of the compelling force of an i l l - f a t e d love, makes a powerful appeal n , , , to the element-ary part of our nature, to our passions, • • •" cannot be denied, Arnold must have f e l t , upon his f i r s t read-ing of i t , that he had found i n this medieval story a subject which admirably f u l f i l l e d his criterion of "excellent action," Arnold's poem i s based almost entirely upon the conception of the story which he derived from La Villemarque 1s summary. In the letter to Herbert H i l l quoted above, he remarked: 5 Arnold, Poetical Works, pp, xix-xx, 6 Quoted by Houghton, Times Literary Supplement, • , , when I got back to England, I looked at the Morte d 1Arthur and took what I could, but the.poem was i n the main formed, and I could not well disturb it,° 51 It i s , however, d i f f i c u l t to establish what Arnold meant in saying that his poem was " i n the main formed." He must also have consulted Dunlop's History of Fiction.? from which he extracted the prlcis which prefaces the poem i n the revised edition of 1853, but since the summary of the legend recorded i n Dunlop's book depends, except for the conclusion, almost entirely upon the French prose Tristan T i t s resemblance i n outline to the version given i n the MPTte fl'Arthur prevents any reliable estimate of i t s importance as source material. If the versification of Arnold's poem was " i n the main formed" before he consulted Malory, then he must have referred to Dunlop at an earlier time; i f , however, i t was only his concept of the poem which was " i n the main formed," then he may have taken considerable material from the Morte d'Arthur, and very l i t t l e from Dunlop's History. Malory i s clearly the source of some details i n the poem. Tristram's s k i l l i n hunting i s mentioned neither i n La Villemarque''s art i c l e nor i n Dunlop's book; yet, i n describing him, Arnold says: 7 J . C. Dunlop, History of Prose Fiction, a new edition revised by Henry Wilson (2 vols.; London: G. Bell and Sons, 1906). 52 I know him by his harp of gold, Famous i n Arthur's court of old, I know him by his forest-dress— The peerless hunter, harper, knight, Tristram of Lyoness.° This detail, then, must have come from his study of Malory. Tristram's explanation of the derivation of his name i s almost a direct quotation from the Morte d*Arthur: he repeats to Iseult of Ireland the words of his dying mother: •Son.1 she said, 'thy name shall be of sorrow: Tristram art thou call'd for my death's sake.'9 Arnold's description of the voyage from Ireland to Cornwall may also be an echo of Malory. Paull F. Baum remarks: The mention of Wales would be natural, but Arnold may have taken a hint here from Malory. . . .-"-0 These few details are the only ones, however, which can with some certainty be ascribed to Arnold's reading of Malory. Several other features of the poem are not mentioned i n La Villemarqul's a r t i c l e — t h e manner of Iseult's departure from Ireland, Tristram's sojourn at 8 Matthew Arnold, "Tristram and Iseult," i , 19-23, i n The Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold, ed. C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry (London: Oxford University Press, 1950). 9 Ibid., i i , 85-86. 10 Paull F. Baum, Ten Studies i n the Poetry of Matthew  Arnold (Durham, N. C : Duke University Press, 1958), p. 4-3. Joyous Gard, the cause of his banishment, and his career i n King Arthur's campaign against the chivalry of Rome. All.of these details, however, are mentioned both i n Dunlop's History and in Malory's work, and could have been obtained from either source. In their Commentary. Tinker and Lowry, using the rather tenuous evidence of Arnold's mispronunciation of "Tyntagel" i n the f i r s t edition of his poem and his subsequent corrections i n the second, assert that he made this error because of Dunlop1s spelling, "Tintadiel, and that he must therefore have studied Dunlop's version before beginning to write his poem. They conclude on the basis of this evidence that the extent to which Arnold used the Morte d'Arthur as source material i s very,small. Paull F. Baum, on the other hand, has noticed that In the second edition of the poem Arnold added a passage specifying the location of Tristram's tomb as Cornwall; this detail i s mentioned i n only one of the sources—Dunlop's History. Upon this insub-stantial evidence, Baum concludes that Arnold had not read the book at a l l u n t i l after 1852, and that he obtained from the Morte d'Arthur a l l of the other material absent from La Villemarque*s summary. Obvious-ly a l l that can be said with certainty i s that Arnold's version of the Tristram legend i s drawn chiefly from La Villemarque''s summary, supplemented by material from Malory and Dunlop. Arnold's statement regarding his source for the tale of Merlin and Vivian, which he incorporated into his "Tristram and Iseult," i s similarly uncertain. Writing to Clough on May 1, 1853, he said: • . . the story of Merlin i s imported from the Morte d'Arthur. 1 1 This statement i s misleading, however, since, as Tinker and Lowry indicate: . . . there i s nothing i n Malory's account of Merlin and Nimue (Book IV.1) which could have supplied any of the important details i n the story related by Arnold. 1 2 They have identified the true source of his version of the tale as an account of the medieval Merlin romance occurring i n La Villemarque's a r t i c l e , "Visite au Tombeau de Merlin. n l 3 Arnold was i n fact indebted to Malory i n this portion of his poem only for his concluding lin e ; he says, quoting the Morte d'Arthur. that Vivian l e f t Merlin, "For she was passing weary of his love." 1 1* With this one exception, the immediate source of Arnold's basic material for the tale of 11 Matthew Arnold, The Letters of Matthew Arnold to  Arthur Hugh Clough. ed. H. F. Lowry (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1932), p. 135. 12 Tinker and Lowry, Commentary, p. 122. 13 Theodore de La Villemarque, "Visite au Tombeau de Merlin." Revue de Paris. 2nd. ser., XLI (I837), 45-62. 14 "Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 224. Merlin and Vivian was not Malory but La Villemarqul. Arnold's concept of the essential meaning of the Tristram legend was limited by the inadequacies of his principal source. Working from what i s merely a plot summary, he gleamed an outline of the chief incidents of the story, but learned nothing of i t s traditional significance or of the various interpret-ations of the characters made by earlier authors. Paull F. Baum remarks: It i s obvious that Arnold missed the essential tragic import of the Tristram and Iseult story as we now see i t : the tragedy of an overmastering passion, "purified by suffering and as i t were consecrated by death," i n which love transcends a l l other human relations and i n which the lovers are innocent victims of a" weli-intentioned but accidentally misappropriated magic philtre.15 Thus Arnold, chiefly through his ignorance of i t s traditional interpretation, found a new significance for the legend. What i n the story so fastened upon Arnold when he f i r s t encountered i t was not the tragedy of Tristram's i l l - f a t e d love for Iseult of Ireland, but rather his anguish i n being divided^against himself and torn between his two contrasting loves, and the pathetic sufferings of his innocent wife. It i s 15 Baum, p. 36. l i k e l y that the very problem of divided loyalty which Arnold perceived i n the legend was the source of i t s attraction for him, since his own vacillation between the l i f e of the senses and the l i f e of pure reason-discussed i n an earlier poem, "The Hew Sirens"— was s t i l l causing him anxiety, and may well have sub-consciously influenced both his selection of the subject and his interpretation of i t . This theme of divided love and loyalty i s ex p l i c i t l y stated i n the poem: There were two Iseults who did sway Each her hour of Tristram's day: Bat one possessed his waning time. The other his resplendent prime.lo Thus i n Arnold's version of the legend, the two Iseults become equally important factors i n the story of Tristram's l i f e , and, for the f i r s t time i n i t s long history, Iseult of Brittany becomes a major figure, threatening even to eclipse her splendid r i v a l . This unusual interpretation of Tristram's story, with i t s new emphasis upon the role of the Breton Iseult, caused Arnold to make several departures from the traditional story both i n form and i n content. Since the important aspect of the legend was, for Arnold, not the history of Tristram's l i f e but the divided loyalty which perplexed his latter days, the 16 "Tristram and Iseult," i , 68-71. poem was constructed so that i t should focus intently upon that portion of the story. It begins i n medias  res with a scene, invented by Arnold, between the dyjng Tristram and his page, and the important incidents i n the hero's l i f e are introduced by the delirious wand-derings of his speech. The second part describes the scene of Tristram's death, and the third the l i f e of his widow. This design, although an excellent solution of the matter of emphasis, introduced new problems for the poet* Paull F. Baum says of Arnold's plan: By commencing with Tristram's death he aimed to subordinate the early l i f e of his hero with Mark and the Queen,—only to be snared by the d i f f i c u l t y of reducing the rich variety of incident which ^s the main story and to be exposed to the dangers of disunity of e f f e c t . 1 ' Arnold's solution to the problem of the fullness of Tristram's early l i f e was to include only those incidents v i t a l to comprehension of the situation of the hero's latter days. Thus he treated the drinking of the love-potion, one of the trysts with Iseult at Tyntagel, Tristram'.s banishment from Cornwall and subsequent marriage to Iseult of Brittany, his career i n the army of King Arthur, and a scene i n which he i s haunted by memories of the Irish Iseult. Of the 1 7 Baum, p. hi other incidents mentioned by La Villemarqul—Tristram's battle with the Irish Morholt, the wound which necess-itates his f i r s t voyage to Ireland, Iseult*s t r i a l by oath, and the several disguises by which Tristram f a c i l -itates his various trysts with the Queen—of these Arnold made no mention, and thus achieved a radical simplification of the story of Tristram's early l i f e . In order to reduce the danger of disunity, Arnold employed i n the f i r s t scene a narrator who, listening to the delirious Tristram's speech, identifies the subject of each hallucination, interrupting his des-cription of the sick-bed scene i n order to relate the details of the incident to which the dying knight refers, and then returning to his narration. This device enabled Arnold to delineate the story of Tristram's early l i f e without drawing the readers* attention from the dying lover. The narrator assists once more i n maintaining unity of effect when, i n the second part, he describes the scene of Tristram's death. His attention turns to a tapestry depicting Tristram engaged i n his favourite pastime, the hunt. In this portrait, invented by Arnold, he i s young and v i r i l e , untouched as yet by the love which i s soon to dominate his l i f e and change him from a carefree, untroubled youth into a passion-tormented man. The lad i n the tapestry i s described as seeming to wonder at the passion-scarred knight who has now found release from suffering i n death: What place i s this, and who are they? Who i s that kneeling Lady fa i r ? And on his pillows that pale Knight  Who seems of marble on a tomb?1" Ironically, the young Tristram seems not to recognize himself as he w i l l one day be; he i s ignorant of the fate which awaits him. Thus, by the device of the narrator's description of the tapestry, Arnold was able to introduce a significant contrast between Tristram's youth and his later years, and to emphasize the change wrought i n him by his i l l - f a t e d love without disturb-ing the time-sequence of the poem. Arnold departed from the traditional story i n omitting entirely the character of Brangien, Iseult of Ireland's handmaid. According to Paull F. Baum: The harsh treatment of Brangien, which so shocked Dunlop, i s not i n La V i l l e -marqueJ and therefore was not "omitted" by Arnold.19 Brangien's adventures are recorded, however, both by Dunlop and by Malory, at least one of whom Arnold must have read during the late l 8 " + 0 s ; Brangien's absence 1 8 "Tristram and Iseult," i i , L 6 V 1 6 7 . 1 9 Baum, p. *fOn. from his poem must therefore be deliberate. This omission may, of course, have been one of those made i n order to achieve greater simplicity i n the narrat-ion of Tristram's early l i f e . Tinker and Lowry suggest i n their Commentary, however, that the omission of Brangien was made for aesthetic rather than technical reasons. They point out Dunlop!s comment that: The character of the Queen of Cornwall can hardly excite love or compassion, as the savage atrocity of her conduct to Brangian [sic] starts up every moment i n the recollection of the reader.2 ° Certainly Iseult 1s treatment of Brangien, f i r s t i n requiring her to sacrifice her virginity to protect the honour of her mistress, and later i n thinking to ensure secrecy by attempting to have her murdered, indicates primitive qualities of ruthlessness and cruelty with which i t i s impossible to sympathize. Arnold may therefore have omitted the character of Brangien i n order to ennoble and refine that of Iseult of Ireland. Arnold also modified the circumstances i n which Iseult of Brittany i s traditionally portrayed. In his poem, as i n the previous versions, she i s 2 0 Dunlop, I, 2 0 6 1 described as virtuous, gentle, and good, possessing a quiet beauty lovely i n i t s own way but pale i n compar-ison with the striking splendour of her r i v a l . It i s this traditional characterization that Arnold gives i n the f i r s t scene: I know her by her mildness rare, Her snow-white hands, her golden hair; I know her by her rich s i l k dress, And her fragile l o v e l i n e s s — The sweetest Christian soul alive, Iseult of Brittany.21 Arnold's modifications of the Breton Iseult's story merely reinforce the pathos of this traditional portrait. In his poem she i s not a damsel supported and protected by a loving father and loyal brother, but the orphan chatelaine of a lonely sea-coast castle, and no longer a virgin wife, but the devoted mother of Tristram's two children. Arnold also removed a strange inconsistency from the traditional characterization of Tristram's wife. In La yillemarqu&'s summary of the legend, as i n a l l the medieval versions except Malory's, i t i s she, although described as virtuously pure i n heart, who causes Tristram's death by a deceitful l i e inspired by insane jealousy of her r i v a l . Dunlop objects to the effect of this deceit upon the characterization: 21 "Tristram and Iseult," i , 50-55. 62 The p i t i f u l malice of the white-handed -Yseult, who. to serve no end, brings a false report to her husband i n his last moments, renders her as contemptible as the heroine i s hateful. . . , 2 2 But i n Arnold's poem, the virtue of Iseult of Brittany never wavers. Her manner towards Tristram, even as he impatiently awaits the arrival of the Irish Iseult, i s tenderly affectionate; she wears: Her traditional humility, self-abnegation, and utter purity are, i n Arnold's poem, sustained consistently to the end. Arnold's most significant alteration of the medieval legend i s his account of Tristram's death. Influenced perhaps by Dunlop1s comment, or perceiving for himself the barbaric nature of the story given by La Villemarque', he invented a new version which avoids the former degradation of character. As i n the account which so jshocicediDunlop, Arnold's Tristram, dying i n Brittany of a wound which only his beloved Iseult of Ireland can heal, has sent a messenger to Cornwall to plead for her assistance. But i n Arnold's poem, the Breton Iseult does not t e l l the l i e which traditionally 22 Dunlop, I, 206. 23 "Tristram and Iseult," i , 95-96. ft caused Tristram to die of grief; i t i s the too-rapid progress of his il l n e s s , hastened by his feverish desire, which prevents Iseult of Ireland from effect-ing his cure. She arrives i n time only to witness his death, and to die with him of grief and despair. Thus i n Arnold's modification of the legend, the lovers are permitted, as never before, to be conscious of sharing the moment of death. Arnold's poem, as he designed i t , should have been a significant re-evaluation of the Tristram legend. The story had not received a major treatment i n English literature for nearly four hundred years, and was thus free from the encumbrance of contemporary interpret-ations. The legend had, i n fact, become so l i t t l e known that he was able to alter i t freely, refining i t s more primitive aspects as his sense of propriety dictated. By restricting his attention to the problem of Tristram's later years, Arnold provided an opport-unity for a creative rendering of the old material which would, by i t s detailed exploration of one aspect of the story, give new insight into the emotions and desires underlying the action. Unfortunately, the dis-crepancy between the plan and i t s execution i s great, and Arnold's poem, i n spite of the excellent intentions of i t s design, i s a failure by his own standards. The execution of "Tristram and Iseult" contrav-enes two of the most important principles of poetic composition which Arnold derived from his study of the classical Greek l i t e r a t u r e — t h a t the parts should be subordinated to the whole, and that the poet should maintain a classical objectivity towards his subject. The. unity .of his poem i s marred by the inclusion of extraneous material which distracts attention from the central situation, and by digressive passages i n which the poet comments subjectively upon the story. The passage describing Iseult 1s sleeping children at the end of Part I i s the least serious of these digressions. It i s Introduced by a s k i l l f u l transition from the dying Tristram to his wife, whose eyes are as innocent as her children's, and thence to the children themselves. The tranquillity of their rest and the innocence of their dreams contrast effect-ively with Tristram's f i t f u l sleep and delirium, which have been the subject of the preceding passage. At the end of this description the focus shifts from the children to the i n l e t which can be seen from their window, and thus to the ship by which Iseult of Ireland arrives. The introduction of Tristram's child-ren at this point prepares also for their appearance i n Part III, which deals with the l i f e of the Breton Iseult and her children after Tristram's death. The passage, although s k i l l f u l l y introduced and related by contrast to the main subject, i s nevertheless distract-ing, since i t draws the narration away from Tristram's death-bed at the very moment when this scene should be the focus of attention. Part II includes a passage of commentary not originally composed for "Tristram and Iseult• n The sixteen lines beginning "Yes, now the longing i s o'er-past. • • were published i n 1852 as the f i r s t half of the poem, "Lines written by a Death-Bed," and then omitted from the l y r i c i n a l l later versions, but added to "Tristram and Iseult" i n the edition of 1869. The insertion may have been made, as Tinker and Lowry suggest, "with the intention of lending force and f i r e to a rather sluggish passage, , , 2 l f but i t creates an un-welcome intrusion, and the passage i s a very strange comment upon the character of Iseult of Ireland: Yes, now the longing i s o'erpast, Which, dogg'd by fear and fought by shame Shook her weak bosom day and night, Consumed her beauty like a flame, K And dimm'd i t l i k e the desert-blast.25 Never before have the weaknesses of fear and shame been associated with the Queen of Cornwall. Of Arnold's 2h Tinker and Lowry, Commentary, p. 117. 25 "Tristram and Iseult," i i , 131-133. insertion of these lines i n "Tristram and Iseult," Tinker and Lowry remarks His judgment i n attempting to suture them i n the context i s no easier, to commend than his taste i n applying the sentiments to the l i f e and character of I s e u l t . 2 6 Part III has been c r i t i c i z e d as being ent-i r e l y superfluous to the poem, since the situation i t treats does not directly involve Tristram, and does not exist i n traditional versions of the legend. This scene i s , however, an essential part of Arnold's conception of the poem, and must have been included i n his plan from the f i r s t . It was his interest i n the character Of Iseult of Brittany which influenced him to design his poem to treat, not the conventional story of Tristram's l i f e and adventures, but the special problem of the two Iseults i U. • . who did sway/ Each her hour of Tristram's day. . . ." 2? This concept of the legend necessarily required that more than the customary emphasis be placed upon the character of Iseult of the White Hands. To devote the f i n a l third of the narrative to a description of the l i f e of Tristram's widow seems disproportionate 26 Tinker and Lowry, Commentary, p. 118. 27 "Tristram and Iseult," i , 68-69. and anticlimactic i n a poem entitled "Tristram and Iseult," but since Arnold's poem, i s concerned with the two Iseults at the time of Tristram's death, this unusual proportioning of emphasis i s not un-reasonable. Part III contains a lengthy digression which, by bursting i n with a moralizing commentary upon the story, rudely disrupts the narrative and destroys the objectivity of viewpoint. Arnold was evidently conscious of the undesirable effect of these lines upon his poem, since he excised them from the 1853 and 185^ editions; but i n 1857, s t i l l dissatisfied, he allowed them to be reinstated. The offending passage reveals Arnold's view of the effect of passion upon the characters i n the legend. Iseult of Brittany endures i n spite of sorrow, because: . • . we may suffer deeply, yet retain Power to be moved and soothed, for a l l our pain, ? By what of old pleased us, and w i l l again. The s p i r i t i n man i s k i l l e d , says Arnold, not by sorrow, but by ". . . the gradual furnace of the world . . ," 2 9 28 "Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 1X16-IEE8 68 Which leaves the fierce necessity to f e e l , But takes away the power— This, or some tyrannous single thought, some f i t Of passion, which subdues our souls to i t , T i l l for i t s sake alone we l i v e and move— Cal l i t ambition, remorse, or love—3 0 Such was the fate of Tristram and the Irish Iseult, who lived for the tyrannous passion which governed their souls, and were eventually destroyed by i t . This passage explains the basis of Arnold's sympathy for the Breton Iseult who, by a philosophy of Stoic resignation, was able to restrain passion and to accept and endure suffering; yet i t i s a coldly unsympathetic interpret-ation of the all-transcendent, compelling love which i s the traditional theme of the Tristram legend. Arnold's utter failure to understand the lovers and their i l l -fated surrender to passion i s only too obvious; he concludes his commentary with this thought: And yet, I swear, i t angers me to see How this fool passion gulls men potently; Being, i n truth, but a diseased unrest, And an unnatural overheat at best.31 One can only wish that such a contemptuously c r i t i c a l view of the " . . . mighty sorrow, which has drawn 30 "Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 123-124 & 127-130 31 Ibid., i i i , 133-136. 69 the heart of the world to i t . . , " 3 2 had not been reinserted i n the e d i t i o n of 1857. Arnold's conclusion to Part III has, l i k e Part I II i t s e l f , been c r i t i c i z e d as being superfluous to the poem. According to Tinker and Lowry,33 the story of Merlin and V i v i a n was not embraced i n Arnold's o r i g i n a l conception of the poem; i t s i n c l u s -ion was an afterthought. In the l e t t e r to Herbert H i l l quoted above, Arnold wrote, apparently i n answer to c r i t i c i s m : The story of Merlin, of which I am p a r t i c u l a r l y fond, was brought i n on purpose to r e l i e v e the poem which would else I thought have ended too sadly; but perhaps the new element introduced i s too much. 3*+ To many c r i t i c s , i t i s indeed "too much" that the story of Tristram and Iseult should not only continue at some length a f t e r the love-death of the p r i n c i p a l s , but also include a t o t a l l y unrelated story on the slim pretext of i t s having been t o l d by Iseult of ibhe White Hands to her chi l d r e n . In Fraser's Magazine, an anon-32 Stopford A. Brooke, p^fiftffaftn. His Art and Relation  to Modern L i f e (New York and London: G. Putnam's Sons, lS? 1*), P. 3^-33 Tinker and Lowry, Commentary1 p. 12^. 31* Quoted by Houghton, Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, p. 360. 70 ymous c r i t i c , having reached the limit of his patience, exclaimed: Who cares about Vivian and Merlin, with Iseult and those two children i n sight?35 Others have complained that Iseult of Brittany i s far too wise a mother to t e l l her impressionable children a story which, because i t deals with a sensual, im-moral love, i s so grossly unsuitable for young minds. The story i s actually intensely moral; i t i s an ex-emplum which illus t r a t e s , by a fairy tale which children can i n some fashion understand, "how this fool passion gulls men potently." Because Merlin loved Vivian too much, he entrusted her with a secret which gave her complete power over his l i f e , and for his total submission to love he paid the price of everlasting imprisonment: And i n that daisied c i r c l e , as men say, Is Merlin prisoner t i l l the judgment-day; But she herself whither she w i l l can rove— For she was passing weary of his love.3« What lesson could Iseult more earnestly desire to teach her children? She has witnessed i n Tristram's l i f e the disastrous effects of an overmastering, magical love which could be ended only by death i t s e l f , and she too 35 "Poems by Matthew Arnold," Fraser's Magazine. XLIX (February, 1854), p. 147. 36 "Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 221-224. suffers i t s bondage. The story i s her attempt to protect her children from a similar fate. The tale i s thus an integral part of Arnold's explanation of the attitude of Iseult of Brittany towards her situation. Its structural relationship with the rest of "Tristram and Iseult" i s so weak, however, that the passage seems a superficial appendage and a most unsatisfactory con-clusion to the poem. Certain aspects of "Tristram aid Iseult" suggest that the poem violates Arnold's d ictum3^ regard-ing the unsuitability of an allegory of the poet's own state of mind as a subject for poetic treatment. In his psychological biography of Matthew Arnold, Louis Bonnerot says: L'exemple le plus caracteristique d' autobiographie indirecte dans 1*oeuvre ppetique d'Arnold, c'est ie long poeme de Tristram and Iseult. ... Le rapport entre cette oeuvre et i a vie d'Arnold ... ce n'est me*me pas une hypothese, mais une certitude.3o It was at Thun during the late 1840s that Marguerite, whether she was a real woman whom he loved or merely a symbol of the Romantic philosophy, became for Arnold 37 Arnold, Poetical Works, p. xxiv. 38 Louis Bonnerot, Matthew Arnold: Poete: Essai de  Biographie psychologique (Paris: Librairie Marcel Didier, 1 9 W , P. 8 5 . a crucial problem* ought he to yield to desire and follow her, or to obey the warnings of int e l l e c t and forsake her? In the end, of course, i t was his i n t e l l -ect which governed his decision, Bonnerot perceives, i n Arnold's interpretation of the Tristram legend, a reflection of the dilemma which so perplexed him during that period: Le dessein d 1Arnold, dans Tristram and  Iseult» fut d'opposer les deux Iseult, Iseult de Bretagne d Iseult d'Irelande, autrement dit l'age mSr a l a jeunesse, 1'union calme a 1'amour passionne. Nous sommes f o n d 6 s a. l i r e dans ce poeme l a transposition de l a destinee m§me d*Arnold, du conflit sentimental qui dut exister en l u i , non point forcement dans le plan de l a vie reelle, mais dans l e plan de 1•imagination, entre sa femme et Marguerite.39 If this be so, then "Tristram and Iseult" i s indeed an allegory of Arnold's own state of mind. An element of wish-fulfilment can be traced i n the poem. Tristram i s never forced to choose between his two Iseults, and his marriage to one does not terminate his relationship with the other. "The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea , | I f 0 i s here not estrang-ing, since i t can be traversed at w i l l ; for Tristram 39 Bonnerot, p. 86 kO Arnold, "To Marguerite—Continued," 1. 2*K 73 and Iseult of Ireland: ... l a mer ne fut un obstacle n i a leur union n i a leur reunion.41 The Irish Iseult's reassurance to Tristram that his people w i l l not object to her v i g i l at his bedside also reflects an aspect of Arnold's dilemma. Bonnerot comments: ... remarquons 1'expression: "nor w i l l thy people ..." qui pourrait bien i t r e une allusion demi-consciente aux dlsapprobatr ions qu'Arnold recontra dans sa famille. 4* 2 These details suggest that there i s an indirect corres-pondence between the problem of Arnold's relationship with Marguerite and his interpretation of the Tristram legend. The two Iseults may be regarded as symbolic of the Romantic and Stoic ways of l i f e , between which Arnold f e l t himself forced to choose. His fear of Romanticism and preference for classical restraint are thus reflected i n his unconventional interpretation of the Tristram legend and his unusual sympathy for the character of Iseult of Brittany. In his poem, her manner i s distinguished by Stoic tranquillity which, though always less than joy, i s yet somewhat richer than hi Bonnerot, p. 86. Ibid., p. 87. 7k resignation. In Matthew Arnold: a Study i n Conflict. E. K. Brown indicates a resemblance between the Breton Iseult and the Greek Stoic, Marcus Aurelius, whom Arnold so greatly admired.^ Iseult, l i k e Marcus Aurelius, has annihilated egotism and, l i k e him, she i s enabled by her self-abnegation to bear the i n f i d e l i t y of her mate calmly and with detachment. She has achieved the tranquillity and repose which Arnold himself was earnestly seeking.^ Arnold's preference for the character of , Iseult of Brittany and the philosophy of Stoic serenity which she represents influenced the tone of his treat-ment of the Tristram legend. J . M. Murry says of Arnold: His most consistent achievementwas i n the kind which we c a l l elegiac. It suited best with his own persistent mood, of restrained regret for the l i f e which he could not accept and the soul which he could not make his own.4"? This elegiac tendency i s noticeable both i n the design of the poem, and i n i t s mood: The whole tone of "Tristram and Iseult" i s elegiac, a chastened review of passion spent and past, not of passion 4-3 E. K. Brown, Matthew Arnold: a Study i n Conflict (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 19W, pp. 89-90. 44- See Letters to Clough. pp. 122-123, 128-129, & 131-133. ^5 J . M. Murry, Discoveries: Essays i n Literary C r i t - icism (London: W. Collins' Sons and Co., 19240, p. 209. 75 strong and present This tone of subdued regret i s f e l i c i t o u s l y appropriate i n the portion of the poem vhich treats Iseult of Brittany, but i t i s often incongruous elsewhere. The scene describing the reunion of the lovers suffers most from the elegiac mood, which rend-ers i t inappropriately cold. Commenting on .Arnold's treatment of the love-death, Stopford A. Brooke says: The story of Tristram i s a story of passion between the sexes. The intensity of the story fades out i n Arnold's poem. . . . Had he known more of true emotion i n love, and f e l t the story and the atmosphere of i t s time more truly, he would not have made this a r t i s t i c mistake, which he probably thought was an a r t i s t i c excellence. The note which i s sounded i n the poem might suit the temper and situation of Iseult of Brittany. It does not suit those of Tristram, and Iseult of Ireland. The poem i s cold.^7 The dialogue i n Part II i s conspicuously unsuccessful. Tristram bitterly accuses his "haughty Queen" of loving him less than her honour, and iseult as bitterly defends herself. Of joy i n reunion, there i s not a word; no impassioned declaration of undying love lightens the gloom. Only i n his request for "One last kiss upon 4 6 "Poems of Matthew Arnold," Spectator, i n Living Age. CLXVI (August 2 2 , 1 8 8 5 ) , 5 0 4 . 4 7 Stopford A. Brooke, Clough. Arnold. Rossetti. and  Morris: a Study... (London: I. Pitman, 1 9 1 0 ) , pp. 1 0 7 -the l i v i n g shore"^° does Tristram convey any vestige of romantic passion. Arnold was aware of the inad-equacy of his treatment of this scene; i n the letter to Herbert H i l l , he wrote: I am by no means satisfied with Tristram i n the second part myself.49 His attempts at improving this passage were to no avail; as Tinker and Lowry remark: The f i n a l dialogue, i n spite of revision, remained quite unimpassioned. The lines are mild and laboured at the very point where the poem should take f i r e and blaze with medieval splendour.50 The love-death scene i s also restrained by concessions to Victorian morality. A stern disapproval of i l l i c i t love seems to hover over the reunion, inhib-i t i n g the dialogue and preventing any intrusion of passion. Iseult speaks of Mark not as Tristram's treacherous, ignoble enemy but as her "deeply-wronged husband."^ She i s portrayed not as an enchanting adultress, but as an aging woman who has l e f t beauty and passion far behind; she says to Tristram: 48 "Tristram and Iseult," i i , 9 8 . 49 Quoted by Houghton, Times Literary Supplement, p. 3 6 8 . 50 Tinker and Lowry, Commentary, .pp. 1130111K 51 "Tristram and Iseult," i i , 45. Ah, harsh f l a t t e r e r ! l e t alone my beauty I I, l i k e thee, have l e f t my youth afar. Take my hand, and touch these wasted f i n g e r s -See my cheek and l i p s , how white they are.52 Her intention of remaining with Tristram i s so phrased as to seem motivated not by a desire for reunion with her lover, but by an almost sisterly affection for the a i l i n g knight whom she has known for so many years: Fear me not, I w i l l be always with thee; I w i l l watch thee, tend thee, soothe thy pain; Sing thee tales of true, long-parted lovers, Join'd at evening of their days again.53 Tristram speaks frequently to Iseult of the virtue and purity of his patient wife; even i n his last moment with his mistress before death takes him from her, he eulogizes the Breton Iseult: . . . she i s kind and good. Now to s a i l the seas of death I leave, thee— One last kiss upon the l i v i n g shore p4-Arnold's emphasis throughout the poem upon the blessings and virtues of domesticity also betrays the influence of Victorian morality. The portrayal of Iseult of Brittany as a chaste, affectionate wife and devoted mother, and the introduction of her two delightfully lovely children entirely remove from the 52 "Tristram and Iseult," i i , 21-24-. 53 Ibi&M i i , 29-32. 54- Ibid., i i , 96-98. 78 legend i t s medieval atmosphere of passion and splendour, and reduce i t s tragedy to the level of pathos. Paull P. Baum says of Arnold that: . . . he produced i n 'Tristram and Iseult 1 a sentimental version of a great tragic story, a version as Victorian as Tennyson's Idylls which were to follow. . . .55 55 Baum, p. 57. CHAPTER IV ALFRED LORD TENNYSON'S "THE LAST TOURNAMENT" Tennyson followed Malory i n using the Tristram material not as an independent legend, but as one of the many tales ancillary to those of the great British mythic hero, King Arthur. Just as Malory, following his French prose sources, included the story of Tristram within the framework of his Morte d'Arthur, so Tennyson, following Malory as his principal source, employed i t as a portion of his Arthurian cycle, Idylls of the King. Tennyson, however, dealt with the Tristram legend i n his own way. Although Malory greatly condensed his material, his narrative i s s t i l l , by modern standards, lengthy and digressive. In "The Book of Sir Tristram of Lyones," Tristram i s constant-l y the central figure, his story being given i n . f u l l detail while Arthur's progress i s temporarily forgotten; the thematic ideal of chivalry i s not affected by this digression because i t i s exemplified, not i n the actions of Arthur alone, but i n those of a l l the principal knights of the Round Table. Tennyson, on the other 79 80 hand, i n condensing Malory's narrative, has focussed much more closely upon the central figure of Arthur and has identified his ideal exclusively with the King; consequently, i n order to preserve unity i n theme and narrative, the secondary tales such as Tristram's are given only i n summary, as i t were, and only i n relation to the central story of Arthur's fate. Thus, i n adapting the Tristram legend to i t s position and function i n the Idylls of the King. Tennyson has necessarily altered and greatly abbreviated Malory^ narrative. The Tristram legend as such forms only a small part of the i d y l l i n which i t appears. The main portion of "The Last Tournament" i s a story concerning the last of the tournaments fought by the knights of the Round Table. The Tournament of the Dead Innocence, as i t i s called, i s established as a memorial to a foundling child who has died i n infancy. The story of the found-li n g , as Harold Littledale notes, 1 has been adapted from an incident i n the l i f e of Alfred, as cited i n Stanley's Book of Birds. In Tennyson's version, the child was discovered when Arthur and Lancelot, riding through the forest, heard her cries coming from the 1 Harold Littledale, Essays on Lord Tennyson's Idylls of  the King (London: Macmillan and Co., 1912) , p. 25~8. 81 top of a giant oak tree. Lancelot climbed the tree and found the infant lying unharmed i n an eagle's nest, with a ruby carcanet wound about her neck. She was given to Guinevere, who cared for her tenderly. The foundling nevertheless soon died, and the Queen, un-willing to keep such a painful reminder of her grief, gave the infant's jewels for the prize at a tourna-ment i n honour of the dead Innocence. The story of the tournament i t s e l f i s entire-l y Tennyson's invention. At the jousting i t i s not Arthur, but Lancelot who presides, seated i n the golden throne of the Pendragonship. This last of the tournaments becomes a mockery of the principles of chivalric combat: as the courtesy of the f i e l d i s brazenly flouted, a l l the dignity of the occasion i s l o s t . Lancelot, sick at heart because of the wantonly ignoble conduct he witnesses, abandons his role of arbitrator and does not intervene'* Eventually Tristram, resplendent i n his emblems of warrior, harper and hunter, appears on the f i e l d ; but at his entrance, a l l the knights draw back, being too cowardly to give the challenge. Thus Tristram, denied the opportunity to defend his honour, wins the tournament ignobly by default. The feast which follows i s equally debased. The ladies, relieved that they are no longer required to maintain a semblance of purity, don their gayest robes for the celebration. At last, the merry-making becomes so boisterous and unruly that Guinevere, alarmed by the vulgarity of the court, abruptly term-inates the revels. Arthur's absence meanwhile has been occasion-ed by a challenge from the Red Knight, who has est-ablished a Round Table of debauchery i n the north. Thus, ironically, while his knights are engaged i n mock combat, Arthur himself i s fighting a genuine battle; moreover, he i s fighting to,deliver his king-dom from the very evils which, i n incipient form, have disgraced the f e s t i v a l at Camelot. Although Arthur wins the battle, he f a i l s essentially i n his mission, for the knights i n his company humiliate him by acting almost as shamefully and ignobly as their enemies. At the end of the i d y l l , Tristram at last appears i n a traditional scene--a secret tryst with Isolt—adapted from the Morte d'Arthur. It i s the day after the tournament, and he i s riding to Tintagel to present the ruby carcanet to his Queen of Beauty. He i s somewhat apprehensive about the meeting, for i t i s to be his f i r s t encounter with Isolt of Ireland since his marriage to Isolt of the White Hands. However, 83 Isolt, though hurt by his i n f i d e l i t y , agrees to be reconciled, and for a short time they are happy togeth-er. Then suddenly, just as Tristram i s fastening the jewels about her neck, the treacherous Mark, striking from behind, k i l l s him with one blow. One question naturally arises—why, i n "The Last Tournament," did Tennyson introduce Tristram at al l ? He was not following tradition, for the story of the tournament i t s e l f does not occur i n any previous vers-ion of the Arthurian legends. Tristram does not appear i n any of the other i d y l l s . Why then, instead of intro-ducing a new character so late i n the cycle, did Tennyson not let some other knight win the tournament— Gawain, for example, who, i n the Idylls of the King, i s equally renowned for prowess i n combat and fiekleness In love? The answer, I believe, l i e s i n the allegor-i c a l purpose which governs a l l the episodes of the cycle. Whether or not Tennyson began the Idylls with any such purpose i n mind has been a question for con-siderable debate. On this subject H. I. Fausset commentst The various episodes of this cycle of poems, i t must be remembered, were built on no original plan. . . . Each new narrative was at f i r s t added 8*+ more by happy chance than by design, u n t i l Tennyson, seeing the p o s s i b i l i t -ies of a complete cycle i l l u s t r a t i v e of his moral theories, inserted the later episodes with considerable con-structive ingenuity.^ When "The Last Tournament" was f i r s t published i n 1871, only two of the f i n a l twelve poems of the Idylls of the King remained to be written. Thus i t would seem safe to regard this i d y l l as one of those later episodes added more by design than by happy chance, and to examine i t i n the context of the allegory of the completed cycle, Tennyson, li k e Malory, used the Arthurian legends for a didactic purpose. In the Idylls of the King, these legends are employed as a vehicle for a warning to Tennyson's age, and for the expression of his personal concept of morality. As H. I. Fausset explains: The f i r s t principle of that morality was that l i f e i s a conflict between flesh and s p i r i t ; that the great and the good man must always master the flesh by suppressing i t , being "passionate for an utter purity," and that a l l e v i l results from some surrender, i f only momentary, to the flesh, which engulfs good and e v i l alike i n i t s dread consequences.3 2 H. I. Fausset, Tennyson, a Modern Portrait (London: Selwyn & Blount, 1923), p, 260. 3 Ibid., p. 20*f. This conflict of ". . • Sense at war with Soul"1*' i s the central problem of the Idylls. Guinevere sins i n preferring Lancelot to Arthur—preferring the easy pleasures of the flesh to the more austere delights of the s p i r i t — a n d Arthur f a l l s through his failure to condemn the lovers. A l l of the subsequent corruption of Arthur's kingdom arises as a consequence of this one surrender to the flesh. Tennyson himself stated: The whole . . . i s the dream of man coming into practical l i f e and ruined by one sin.5 Thus, as CondS B. Pallen says of the Idy l l s: Their message i s a rebuke to the pride of the flesh, the crime of sense become the crime of malice, the ancient rebellion against the s p i r i t -, ual and God.° This, then, i s the nature of Tennyson's warning to his age, as conveyed i n the Idylls of the King. "The Last Tournament," the tenth of the twelve i d y l l s as they appear i n their f i n a l order, ill u s t r a t e s the ever-encroaching corruption which, k- Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King, annotated by Alfred Lord Tennyson, ed. Hallam Lord Tennyson (London: Macmillan and Co., 1908), p. 4-20, 1. 18. 5 Alfred Tennyson, quoted by Hallam Lord Tennyson, ed., i n Idylls of the King, p. 4-33. 6 Conde B. Pallen, The Meaning of the Idylls of the  King: an Essay i n Interpretation (New York: American Book Co., 1904), p. 1 9 .Pallen's statement contains an interesting echo of 11. 215-216 of "The Vision of Sin," and points to the persistence of.Tennyson's belief i n the capacity of sensuality to induce malice or hatred. 86 as a result of Guinevere's sin, a f f l i c t s Arthur's court, and foreshadows the total disintegration of his kingdom to be depicted i n "Guinevere" and "The Passing of Arthur." Harold Littledale states: The main object of the poem i s to continue the exposition of the decline that i s taking place i n the s p i r i t of chivalry amongst both the knights and the dames of Arthur's court .7 Their behaviour during the tomrnament indicates that, seeing Lancelot and Guinevere sin with impunity, they have taken good heed of this precedent; they openly mock the noble vows made to Arthur: To reverence the King, as i f he were Their conscience, and their conscience as their King, To break the heathen and uphold the Christ, To ride abroad redressing human wrongs, To speak no slander, no, nor l i s t e n to it.. To honour his own wards as i f his God's, To lead sweet lives i n purest chastity. . • • The violation of one vow has led to the violation of a l l , u n t i l even Arthur notices the general moral l a x i t y — The foot that l o i t e r s , bidden go,—the glance That only seems half-loyal to command,— A manner somewhat f a l l ' n from reverence—9 7 Littledale, p. 254. 8 Idylls of the King, p. 389, 11. 19-25. 9 Ibid., p. 3 ^ , 1. 24 - p. 3^5, 1. 1. 87 "The Last Tournament" takes this moral and spiritual decay for i t s subject. The process of gradual decay i s echoed i n the descriptions of nature i n the poem. Throughout the Idylls, the pattern of the growth and decline of Arthurs kingdom i s parallel to that of the passing seasons of the year. Cbnde B. Pallen remarks; This temporal framework i s the external symbolism of the seasons of human l i f e , the spiritual passage through the avenues of time from birth to death. . . . It i s also the symbol of the moral growth and then the decadence of the Round Table through the corrupting influence of the {jueen's great s i n . 1 0 The Idylls progress from vernal spring, with i t s promise of new l i f e , at the time of Arthur's marriage to Guinevere, through to the f i n a l i t y of bleak mid-winter at the time of his death. "The Last Tournament" i s held i n late autumn, a season which t e l l s , i n this poem, not of fru i t i o n and harvest, but of ruin, corruption and decay, and fore-t e l l s the approach of winters And ever the wind blew, and yellowing leaf, And gloom and gleam, and shower and shorn plume Went doxm i t . H 10 Pallen, p. 94-. 11 Idylls of the King, p. 34-6, 11. 12-14-. This atmosphere of impending winter and death pervades the i d y l l , darkening each scene with i t s shadow of inevitable disaster. It i s ironical that the corruption of Arthur's court i s nowhere more evident than i n the tournament scene. The Tournament of the Dead Inn-ocence i s designed as a tribute to p u r i t y — a l l the ladies are robed i n vhite, and at a fountain of wine twelve damosels i n white samite s i t with golden cups, ready to minister to the members of the court. But this outward display of innocence cannot disguise the guilt within. There i s no knight on the f i e l d who fights honourably, and there i s no lady who does not betray her irreverence for the occasionj when the tournament ends, one says with obvious r e l i e f : . . . Praise the patient saints, Our one white day of Innocence hath past, Tho' somewhat draggled at the skirt . 1 2 Commenting on the appropriateness of this scene, Andrew Lang remarks: With a wise touch Tennyson has represent-ed the Court as fallen not into vice only and crime, but into positive vulgarity and bad taste. The Tournament i s a carnival of the "smart" and the third-rate. Courtesy i s dead. . • .13 12 Idylls of the King, p. 3*+8, 1. 24 - p. 3*+9, 1. 2. 13 Andrew Lang, Alfred Tennyson (2nd ed.; Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1901), p. 152. The behaviour of the members of the court trans-forms the nature of the fe s t i v a l , turning the well-intentioned celebration of innocence into a ridiculous travesty. Describing the ironic contrast between the purpose of the tournament and i t s outcome, Stopford A. Brooke says: In this fierce contrast Tennyson strikes out on his canvas the mocking cynicism i n which he Involves the court. There i s no innocence which i s not dead, and, there i s no love which i s innocent.14 Thus the Tournament of the Dead Innocence becomes a memorial not to the innocence of a dead child but to the dead innocence of Guinevere and i t s venomous effect upon the morality of Arthur's court. In offering the jewels for the prize of the tournament, Guinevere has said to Arthur: Perchance—who knows? the purest of thy knights K May win them for the purest of my maids.1^ But the outcome of the jousting i s an Ironic mockery of her wish. Just as the ladies, by their vulgarity, 14 Stopford A. Brooke, Tennyson. His Art and Relat- ion to Modern Life (New York and London: G. Putnam's Sons, 1894), p. 343. 15 Idylls of the King, p. 3*+2, 11. 5-6. 9 0 profane the sanctity of the occasion, allowing i t to become a celebration not ©f Innocence but of immorality, s© the knights, i n fearing to challenge Tristram, further degrade the f e s t i v a l by allowing the prize to be won uncontested by a known adulterer, an acknowledged practitioner of free love* Thus, i h a scene of consummate irony, the jewels of Innocence are claimed not by a pur© knight but by a man guilty of Lancelot's very sin, and presented not to a pure maid but t© his paramour„ Since the tournament i s l a every aspect a trenchant commentary upon the corruption caused by the sin of Lancelot and Guinevere, i t i s appropriate that the winner of the Jousting should be a knight who, though less noble, occupies a moral position similar to Lancelot's, Tristram, i n his traditional character, i s almost ideally suited to the part. Just as Lancelot i s Arthur's closest friend and mightiest comrade-in-arms, so Tristram was, i n earl-i e r versions of his story, Mark's beloved nephew and bravest champion* And Just as Lancelot i s torn be-tween the chlvalric loyalty he owes to Arthur and the love he feels for Guinevere, so Tristram was torn between his duty to Mark and his desire for Isolt. This Tristram i s not quite the same man as the Tristram of the Idylls of the King; i n the tournament scene, however, because nothing i s yet known of him except his name, the resemblance to Lancelot i s closer than later i n the i d y l l , when Tennyson's characterization of him is f u l l e r . Thus the comparison i s effective. Tristram's victory i n the Tournament of the Dead Innocence, claiming for him the jewels intended for the purest of Arthur's knights, implies therefore that the "purest" i s as guilty as Lancelot, and that Lancelot's sin has infected a l l the court. Since i n this Id y l l Tennyson was depicting the ruinous corruption which can grow from one small sin, i t was important that the sin be made as small as the legend would permit, emphasizing as a moral consequence the magnitude of the corruption. For this reason, i t was necessary to render Lancelot's actions as pardonable as possible, though s t i l l at fault, and to make Tristram's sin the greater by comparison, since i t i s a part of that corruption which results from the original violation of Arthur's law. Thus the infusion of Tennyson's allegory into the Arthurian legends caused some alterations i n the source material. Tennyson rendered the sin of Lancelot and Guinevere less culpable by altering the circumstances of their f i r s t encounter. In the Morte d'Arthur. Guinevere does not meejj Lancelot u n t i l after her marriage, when she f a l l s i n love with his prowess i n combat and his equal s k i l l i n courtesy. Tenny-son, however, as Andrew Lang comments,16 modelled this portion of their story upon that of Tristram and Isolt. When the marriage of Arthur and Guinevere has been arranged, i t i s Lancelot who goes, at Arthur's request, to escort the bride to Camelot, just as Tristram was sent by Mark for Isolt. No supernatural philtre compels them to love each other, but the charm of Lancelot's courtesy and the enchanting journey through the May flowers inspires affection nevertheless. Thus Guinevere, l i k e Isolt, i s obliged to marry one man when she has previously given her heart to another. Sustaining Lancelot as the noblest of Arthur's knights necessitated some alterations i n the character of Tristram who, i n the Morte d'Arthur, i s his nearest r i v a l i n fame. There i s nothing i n the description of Tristram's f i r s t appearance to indic-ate that he i s no longer his traditional self; he enters the f i e l d — . . . t a l l e r than the rest, And armour'd a l l i n forest green, whereon There t r i p ' t a hundred tiny silver deer, 16 Lang, p. 117. And wearing but a holly-spray for crest. With ever-scattering berries, and on shield A spear, a harp, a bugle—Tristram—late From overseas i n Brittany return'd, And marriage with a princess of that realm, Isolt the White—Sir Tristram of the Woods— Soon, however, i t becomes apparent that he i s no long-er the noble, conscience-striken sufferer of the legend, but a cynical iconoclast of idealism and an exponent of free love, scornful of f i d e l i t y both i n chivalry and i n love. Tennyson's Tristram would c a l l himself a r e a l i s t . He scorns belief i n the power of virtue; when, i n presenting the tourney prize, Lancelot asks, "Art thou the purest, brother?" 1 8 he replies: . . . Strength of heart And might of limb, but mainly use and s k i l l Are winners in this pastime of our King. 1? He doubts the practicality of the higher l i f e , pre-ferring not to strive after spiritual ideals, but rather to enjoy the easy delights of the flesh, and to accept and tolerate the world's sinfulness and his own; he says to Lancelot: Great brother, thou nor I have made the world; " Be happy i n thy f a i r Queen as I i n mine. u 17 Idylls of the King, p. 3*+7, 11 . 2*10. 18 Ibid., p. 3^7, 1 . . 2 ? . ; 19 Ibid., p. 348, 11 . 4 - 6 . 20 Ibid., p. 348, 11. 10-11 . 9^ Once, he admits to I s o l t , he was inspired to i d e a l -ism; but now he scorns those who would dedicate them-selves to such distant and d i f f i c u l t goals. Describ-ing the moment when he took his vows before Arthur, he says: . . . he seem'd to me no man, But Michael trampling Satan; so I sware, Being amazed: but t h i s went by—The vowsI 0 a y — t h e wholesome madness of an hour—21 Such i s Tristram the c y n i c — a man b l i n d to aims beyond those of his own self-indulgence, deaf to the music of the s p i r i t — a destructive element i n Arthur's kingdom. Tristram's i n f e r i o r i t y to Lancelot i s most evident i n his behaviour as a lover. Although Lancelot's, l i k e Tristram's, i s a g u i l t y love, i t i s always dedicated f a i t h f u l l y to one-woman. The Tristram of the e a r l i e r legend also loved one woman only, and although i n the Morte d'Arthur Isode i s not his f i r s t paramour, she i s nevertheless the only woman he seeks aft e r the love p h i l t r e has taken e f f e c t . Tennyson's Tristram, however, takes the doctrine of free love as the gospel of his conduct. M. W. Mac-callum comments: It i s noticeable that i n Tennyson's account of him, a l l mention of the love 21 I d y l l s of the King, p. 3^7, '11. 4 - 7 . 95 p h i l t r e i s omitted; f o r i n the I d y l l s he i s the type no longer of overmaster-ing passion but of free and careless desire. 2 Unlike Lancelot, Tristram i s troubled by no pangs of conscience. Stopford A. Brooke remarks: There i s a difference between . . . Lancelot, whose love was mingled with a vast remorse, and Tristram who i n the I d y l l of The Last Tournament'has. i n the ai r y cynicism of free loving, become careless of fa i t h f u l n e s s , and then un-courteous towards the woman whom he once loved so w e l l . 2 3 In a dialogue with Arthur's f o o l , Dagonet, Tristram proclaims h i s callous attitude to love. Dagonet refuses to dance to Tristram's harping, which he c a l l s "broken music;" the music which Tristram has broken i s : . . . Arthur, the King's; For when thou piayest that a i r with Queen I s o l t . Thou makest broken music with thy bride, Her d a i n t i e r namesake down i n B r i t t a n y — , And so thou breakest Arthur's music too. 2 4" But Tristram expresses neither concern nor constern-ation at the fool's accusation; he r e p l i e s by singing h i s credo of free love: 22 M. W. Maccallum, Tennyson's I d y l l s and Arthurian  Story from the Xyith Century (Glasgow: J . Maclehose and Sons, 1894), p. 4-00. 23 Brooke, p. 299. 24 I d y l l s of the King, p. 350, 11. 20-24. 96 Free love—free field—we love but while we may: The woods are hush'd, their music i s no more; The leaf i s dead, the yearning past away: New leaf, new l i f e — t h e days of frost are o'er: New l i f e , new love, to suit the newer day: New loves are sweet as those that went before: Free love—free field—we love but while we may.2? Thus the Tristram of "The Last Tournament" i s not only an adulterer, but also a cynical philanderer who has abandoned himself to the lusts of the flesh. Tristram carries this philosophy even into the presence of Isolt. He excuses the i n f i d e l i t y of his marriage to Isolt of Brittany by saying only, "The night was dark; the true star s e t " 2 6 — W h i l e the star of her love was beyond the horizon, he needed and found another star to comfort him. During his reunion with Isolt: He talks of the freedom of Love to love wherever i t &ay please, and of their love f a i l i n g when beauty f a i l s , and when desire is cold. He speaks i n this l i g h t , tossing way i n the presence of the woman whom he has loved; and Isolt, though she shows indignation, suffers i t at last with in-difference. 27 After they have dined, Tristram sings to Isolt; his song, however, i s not of her alone, but of his two stars of love: 25 Idylls of the King, p. 351, 11. 6-12. 26 Ibid., p. 364-, 1. 14-. 27 Brooke, p. 345. 97 Ay, ay, 0 ay—-the winds that bend the brier! A star i n heaven, a star within the mere! Ay, ay, 0 ay—a star was my desire, Ana one was far apart and one was near: Ay, ay, 0 ay—the winds that blow the grass! And one was water and one star was f i r e , And one will"ever shine and one w i l l pass. ft Ay, ay, 0 ay—the winds that move the mere. 2 0 There i s , perhaps, some satisfaction for Isolt i n i d -entifying herself with the star that " w i l l ever shine," and the other Isolt with the watery reflection of her f i r e ; but the song i s not the comforting and reassur-ing music she craves, nor i s i t the song which an earl-ier Tristram would have made in honour of his love. Isolt, too, i s not the Isolt of the old legend. Just as Tristram i s debased i n order to ennoble Lancelot by contrast, so Isolt's character i s altered i n order to elevate Guinevere's. The Queen, like Lancelot, feels remorse for her betrayal of Arthur and a measure of sympathy for the mission which drives him so relentless-l y . But i n Isolt, hatred of her husband is more evident than love of her knight; her f i r s t words to Tristram at their meeting are: • • • Not Mark—not Mark, my soul! The footstep flutter'd me at f i r s t : not he: Catlike thro' his own castle steals my Mark, But warrior-vrise thou stridest thro 1 his halls Who hates thee, as I him—ev'n to the death. 28 Idylls of the King, p. 369, 11 . 12-19 My soul, I f e l t my hatred for my Mark Quicken within me, and knew that thou wert nigh.29 Isolt, of course, has ample cause for despising her husband, b u t a l l Mark's baseness and treachery do not excuse.the violence of her hatred. Nor do they excuse her equation of adultery with revenge; she frankly admits to Tristram: My God. the measure of my hate for Mark Is as the measure of my love for thee.30 Isolt seems hungry for revenge; she t e l l s Tristram how she has longed to hurt his wife for her role i n his i n -f i d e l i t y , and says spitefully that she has achieved her aim i n drawing him back to Tintagel: Well—can I wish her any huger wrong Than having known thee? her too thou has l e f t To pine and waste i n those sweet memories. 0 were I not my Mark's, by whom a l l men Are noble, I should hate thee more than love.31 This violence of passion, scarcely distinguishing between love and hate, i s appropriate i n the paramour of a dis-ciple of free l o v e — i t i s , according to the principles of Tennysonis morality, what he deserves—but i t i s entirely foreign to the nature of the traditional Isolt of Ireland. 2 9 Idylls of the King, p. 36O, 1. 22 - p. 361, 1. 4-. 30 Ibid., p. 3 6 I , 11. 21-22. 31 Ibid., p. 364-, 11. 5-9. Mark i n the Idylls of the King is essentially the Cornish king of the Morte d 1Arthur, except that his v i l l a i n y i s rather more sharply emphasized. Tennyson's Mark i s a grizzled lecher, dastard and assassin; Arthur describes him as: . • .craven—a man of plots, Craft, poisonous counsels, wayside ambushings—3 2 When, i n "Gareth and Lynette," he tries to bribe Arthur for a position i n the order of the Round Table, Arthur's astonishment i s almost as great as his wrath: But Mark hath tarnished the great name of king, As Mark would sully the low state of churl.33 In the i d y l l , "Merlin and Vivien," when a minstrel at the castle of Mark, . . . he that always bare i n bitter grudge The slights of Arthur and his Table. . . .34-t e l l s of the pure love of Lancelot for the Queen, Mark i s so enraged by this description of purity that he sends Vivien, his paramour, to attempt to sully the virtue of Arthur's court. Vivien promises to be a worthy pupil, since by him she has been 32 Idylls of the King, p. 4/3, 11 . 3-4-. 33 Ibid., p. 4-2, 11 . 2 2 - 2 3 . 34- Ibid., p. 182, 11 . 6 - 7 . 100 . . .shown the truth betimes, That old true f i l t h , and bottom of the well, Where Truth i s hidden.35 Commenting on Mark's hatred of Arthur, Stopford A. Brooke says: injustice, falsehood, cruelty are his characteristics, and out of these are born coarse cynicism i n sensualism and hatred of pure love.3" Mark's actions i n the Idylls are l i t t l e different from his behaviour i n the Morte d'Arthur, but his conscious-ness of e v i l motive i s greatly increased. Throughout the Idylls of the King. Mark's motives and principles are set directly contrary to those.of Arthur, as are the ways of his court. Mark expresses total disbelief i n purity and honour, and glories i n the triumph of e v i l over good. He i s as base as Arthur i s noble. Arthur's forbearance of Lancelot i s as great as Mark's enmity for Tristram; and Arthur's continuing friendship with Lancelot con-trasts with Mark's assassination of Isolt's lover. In Mark, Tennyson portrays the sin of deliberate, cons-ciously e v i l action and desire which results indirectly from Guinevere's surrender to the flesh. Just as her 35 Idylls of the King, p. lb%, 11. 7-9. 36 Brooke, p. 302. 101 sin prepares the way for Tristram's discipleship i n free love, so Tristram's adultery gives birth to Mark's base treachery. Conde* B. Pallen states that: Mark, King of Cornwall, "the scorn of Arthur and his Table." i s the type of the crime of malice. • . .37 Mark1s assassination of Tristram thus exemplifies "the crime of sense become the crime of malice,"38 and takes i t s place i n the process of ever-encroaching corruption as a foreshadowing of the ultimate malicious treachery of Modred. The Tristram legend, as i t i s told i n "The Last Tournament," i s , though much briefer, reasonably fa i t h f u l i n plot to "The Book of Sir Tristram of Lyones," but much different i n characterization. Harold Littledale says: This Idyll i s only indebted to Malory for the superficial outiine of the story of Tristram and his two Isolts, and the vengeance of King Mark.39 The Tristram and Isolt who enact this plot are not those of the old legend. Commenting on this change i n charact-ization, Stopford k. Brooke remarks: 37 Pallen, p. 70. 38 Ibid., p. 19. . 39 Littledale, p. 254 Tristram i s not the Tristram we know, nor Isolt our Isolt; they are both vulgarized. A l l the romance i s taken out of them; their great and inevitable love i s turned into a common intrigue. Their mighty sorrow, which has drawn the heart of the world to i t . . • i s l e f t untouched by Tennyson. Nay, their characters, as he draws them, are incapable of such a sorrow. 4 - 0 The legend undeniably suffers from, Tennyson's alterat-ions; M. W. Maccallum states: In the case of no branch of Arthurian romance has Tennyson's unavoidable pruning been more cruel, than i n the story of Tristram. . . .hi Tennyson, however, was not concerned to any extent with the problem of f i d e l i t y to the s p i r i t of the old romance; his interest lay rather i n adapting the legend to i t s place i n the allegory of the Idylls of the King, and i n that endeavour he was successful. hO Brooke, p. 3k6, hi Maccallum, p. 2 7 9 . CHAPTER V ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE'S TRISTRAM OF LYONESSE The publication of Tristram of Lyonesse was for Algernon Charles Swinburne the culmination of a period of some thirty years' fascination with the leg-end of Tristram and Iseult. As a schoolboy at Eton he f i r s t read and loved Matthew Arnold's poem on the sub-ject. Then, during his f i r s t year at Oxford, he began a metrical romance, Queen Yseult. the f i r s t canto of which was published i n the Undergraduate Papers of December, 1857. Six of the proposed ten cantos were completed during that year before Swinburne abandoned the work, with the never-fulfilled intention of later revising and completing i t . The following year, i n a letter to Edwin Hatch 1 he mentioned being at work on a new Tristram poem, which apparently was also abandoned. No new attempts were made upon the subject u n t i l 1869, when the "Prelude" to Tristram of Lyonesse was begun. After the publication of the "Prelude" in 1871, 1 A . 0 C . Swinburne, The Complete Works of Algernon Charles  Swinburne. ed. Sir Edmund, Gosse and Thomas James Wise, (London: Heinemann, 1925-27), XVIII, 3. 103 104-Swinburne continued to work spasmodically upon the re-mainder of the poem; f i n a l l y , i n 1881, he set himself i n earnest to the task of i t s completion, and the entire poem at last appeared i n the 1882 volume, Tristram of  Lyonesse and other poems, just thirty years after the f i r s t publication of Arnold's "Tristram and Iseult." Swinburne's f i r s t attempt at a poem on the Tristram legend was inspired by his friendship with William Morris and his admiration of Morris's pre-Raphaelite poems. Morris's enthusiasm for subjects drawn from medieval history and legend was so infect-ious that, as Georges Lafourcade relates: Le^ier novembre 1857, Swinburne est present^ a Morris et l'entend dlclamer ... Guenevere. Blanche et The Willow and the  Red C l i f f . Le 10 novembre, i l est en train de composer Queen Yseult: le 16 decembre, i l a termine les six premiers chants. L'influence est, on le voit, directe et 1*imitation immediate.2 In his eagerness to emulate the pre-Raphaelite poems of Morris, Swinburne naturally turned to the medieval leg-end which had earlier, i n Arnold's version, captured his imagination. The resultant poem, immature and imitative though i t i s , i s nevertheless important as the beginning 2 Georges Lafourcade, La Jeunesse de Swinburne (1837- 1867) (London: Oxford University Press, 1928), II, 40. 1 0 5 of his prolonged endeavours with the legend, and as the groundwork of the later poem, Tristram of Lyonesse. Georges Lafourcade remarks: poetique; malgre l a manque de f i n i , les negligences, l a monotonie, le poeme n'est pas, a certains endroits, depourvu de merites l i t t e r a i r e s ; m6rites qui sont a vrai dire plutSt de promesses, mais de tres belles promesses; enfin, i l est l a clef du chef-d'oeuvre publie par Swinburne en 1882. ...3 Knowledge of the sources which Swinburne employed i n writing Queen Yseult i s of course fundam-ental to determining those which he u t i l i z e d i n the later poem, Tristram of Lyonesse. In 1857, he may have read Malory's Morte d'Arthur, but i f so, he apparently-disregarded this treatment of the legend. According to Georges Lafourcade1*" he was acquainted with Beroul's poem, the extant portions of the Tristan of Thomas, and various other fragments collected i n Tristan, recueil  de ce qui reste des poemes r e l a t i f s a ses aventures. published i n 1835-37 by Francisque Michel. This volume, however, was not his principal source; according to Lafourcade: 3 Lafourcade, II, 42. k Ibid.. II, 45. 106 ... Swinburne a a peine u t i l i s e Francisque Michel; i l a, dans Queen Yseult. suivi de pres non pas Thomas, qui etait alors inaccessible dans son ensemble, mais l a traduction ou imitation anglaise du treizieme ou quatorzieme siecle, connue sous le nom de Sir Tristrem. et qui fut longtemps attribuee a Thomas of Ercildoune. ... C'est a n'en pas doubter J-a principale source de Swinburne. . . . 5 When he began Tristram of Lyonesse. Swinburne engaged i n a project of much more extensive research than he had done i n preparation for the writing of Queen Yseult. In a letter to William Michael Rossetti, dated December 28, 1869, he wrote: Meantime I am at work on the moral history of Tristram. Do you know any-thing of the old romances on the subject beyond Walter Scott's book CSco t t's edition of the Sir Tristreml and the Morte d'Arthur? anything for instance of the Early English people's unearthing? I- want to look at the romance of his father Meliadus i n the B r i t . Mus. as well as the Tristan and the Lancelot.6 Whether or not Swinburne actually accomplished a l l of this research cannot be determined; i f he did, however, i t must have proved to be of l i t t l e value to him, since the material of this poem has come almost entirely from the sources employed previously i n Queen Yseult. 5 Lafourcade, II, M-J+6. 6 Swinburne, Complete Works. XVTII, 75. Tristram of Lyonesse i s based mainly upon the northern Sir Tristrem and i t s hypothetical conclusion written by Sir Walter Scott, with additional material drawn from.Francisque Michel's Recueil and Malory's Morte  d'Arthur. In Swinburne's later poem, the material which has no counterpart i n the Sir Tristrem consists of details and episodes which, being supplementary, do not affect the basic outline of the main source. The origin of Tristram's name is given i n words which echo the Morte d'Arthur; Swinburne says of the young Tristram that: . . . nothing save his name he had of grief, The name his mother, dying as he was born, Made out of sorrow i n very sorrow's scorn. . . .' Also drawn from the Morte d'Arthur are the references made i n the conversation of Tristram and Iseult to King Arthur, his half-sister Morgause, Lancelot, Guenevere, and the story of Merlin and Nimue. The incident of Tristram's spectacular leap from a chantry window i n order to escape the vengeance of Mark's barons may have been drawn either from the Morte d'Arthur or from the extant fragment of Beroul's poem, included i n Michel's 7 Swinburne,""Tristram of Lyonesse," i n CQmplete Works. 17, 35, 11. 22-24-. 108 Recueil. The devices of the swallow on the ship which brings Iseult to Cornwall and the swan on that which ca r r i e s her to Brittany are o r i g i n a l with Swinburne, although the swallow may have been suggested by the incident i n E i l h a r t von Oberge's poem (also included i n Michel's volume), i n which two swallows bring a strand of Iseult*s golden hair to Mark and thereby i n s p i r e him to seek her f o r h i s bride. Aside from these supplementary d e t a i l s , the material of Tristram  of Lyonesse i s drawn from or based upon the northern S i r Tristrem. Swinburne also modified c e r t a i n incidents from the S i r Tristrem by combining them i n h i s poem with versions given i n other sources. This technique of c o l l a t i o n enabled him to enrich and enlarge the rather c r y p t i c narrative of h i s main source. The adventure i n which Iseult, claimed by Palamede as a boon f o r h i s minstrelsy, i s rescued, afte r a ride through the forest, by Tristram's defeat of the pagan knight i n combat combines two versions of the episode. In the S i r Tristrem. i t i s an anonymous I r i s h knight who plays h i s harp i n order to win Iseult, and only by Tristram's clever t r i c k e r y i s he prevented from s a i l i n g with her to Ireland. In the Morte d'Arthur. Palamede rides o f f with Iseult through the forest and loses her to Tristram i n combat, but he claims her as 109 a boon, not for his harping, but for his rescue of Brangwayne. Thus i n Swinburne's poem the two versions of this adventure are interwoven. In the i d y l l i c interlude which follows the rescue, Tristram and Iseult dwell together for three months i n a forest bower, but are pardoned and re-instated at Tintagel when Mark discovers them asleep, separated by a naked sword. In the Sir Tristrem, the lovers remain together after the rescue only seven days before voluntarily returning to King Mark. In a later episode, however, they are banished from Mark's court and dwell secretly for a time i n an earthen hut in the forest; when the King discovers them sleeping with the naked sword between, he pardons them and restores them to Tintagel. The forest bower which i n Swinburne's version replaces the earthen hut could be drawn from the description of a similar incident i n either Malory or Beroul. Thus i n relating this episode Swinburne modified the version given i n the Sir Tristrem by combining i t with material from a later episode and with details drawn from another source. This assimilation of the two episodes from the Sir Tristrem into one i s compensated by the import-ation of a later incident from the Morte d'Arthur. In Swinburne's poem, Tristram, after his marriage, journeys with Ganhardine to Cornwall, where they arrange a tryst with Iseult and Brangwain, just as i n the Sir  Tristrem. But the tryst results i n a decision to accept the refuge offered by Lancelot and Guenevere at Joyous Gard, where, as i n the Morte d'Arthur, the lovers so-journ for a time. This interlude i s terminated abruptly when, acting upon the order of King Arthur, Tristram restores Iseult to Mark, just as, i n a later book of the Morte d'Arthur. Lancelot i s compelled by a special writ of intervention from the Pope to return Guenevere to Camelot. Arthur's command at the same time sends Tristram upon the mission of freeing Wales from the tyranny of the giant, Urgan, and thereby Introduces a heroic battle scene drawn from the Sir Tristrem. The importation of the Joyous Gard episode i s thus emp-loyed to enlarge the brief tryst mentioned i n the main source, and to give greater purpose to the episode of the battle with Urgan. In his treatment of the legend, Swinburne was f a i t h f u l to the s p i r i t of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century versions and to the main outline of the story given i n the Sir Tristrem. As W. B. D. Henderson remarks: The theme came straight to his hands, with most of i t s perfections on i t , from Thomas, Beroul, and the compiler of the romance of Tristram—and he has retold i t with great I l l faithfulness, neglecting no important incident i n the original. . . . The incidents which Swinburne did omit are those of Tristram's birth and arrival at Tintagel, his slaying of one Irish dragon and three Spanish giants, Iseult's abortive attempt to have Brangwain k i l l e d , the many persecutions of the lovers by Mark's barons and the several devices by which on these occasions they elude discovery, and Iseult's ordeal by f i r e . These omissions modify the deliberately primitive atmosphere of the version given by the Sir Tristrem and simplify the narrative by reducing the number of repetitious epis-odes. By these modifications Swinburne achieved an intensified focussing upon the love element of the legend and the minimizing of the heroic and chivalric element. This condensation of the material provided by the Sir Tristrem was necessitated by the form i n which Swinburne chose to present his version. Tristram of  Lyonesse consists of an introductory invocation to love, and nine cantos which form a series of l y r i c a l studies upon the principal episodes of the legend. The poem i s 8 W. B. D. Henderson, Swinburne and Landor. a Study of  their Spiritual Relationship and i t s Effect on Swinburne's  Moral and Poetic Development (London: Macmillan and Co., 1918), p. 231. 112 thus a succession of scenes rather than a continuous, uninterrupted narrative. Edward Thomas cites Swin-burne's explanation of his form and purpose: In undertaking to "rehandle the death-less legend of Tristram," he says, his aim was "simply to present the"story, not diluted and debased as i t has been i n our own time by other hands, but undefaced by improvement and undeformed by transform-ation, as i t was known to the age of Dante wherever the chronicles of romance found hearing, from Ercildoune to Florence; and not i n the epic or romantic form of sus-tained and continuous narrative, but mainly through a succession of dramatic scenes or pictures with descriptive settings or back-grounds. . . ."9 Often the descriptive background of a canto serves to recount the incidents of the story which have brought about the situation i t depicts. The narr-ation of the f i r s t canto begins i n medias res with Iseult's journey to Cornwall, and then turns back to describe Tristram's f i r s t and second voyages to Ireland and the brewing of the love-potion by Iseult's mother, before completing the story of "The Sailing of the Swallow." Similarly i n the fourth canto, the episode of Tristram's marriage i s interrupted by Tristram's reminiscence, i n which King Mark's discovery of the sleeping lovers i n the forest bower, their return to 9 Edward Thomas, Algernon Charles Swinburne, a  C r i t i c a l Study (London: M. Seeker, 1912), pp. 211-212. 1 1 3 Tintagel, their betrayal and capture, Tristram's escape by means of the chantry leap, and his subsequent wan-derings are described. Thus by means of these and similar passages of descriptive background, Swinburne was able to include a l l of the principal incidents of the legend, and yet to focus i n each of the nine cantos upon only one significant episode. The emphasis i n Tristram of Lyonesse i s , as i t was i n the Tristan of Gottfried von Strassburg, upon the element of immortal and all-transcendent love. Of Swinburne's poem, T. E. Welby declares: . . . i n s p i r i t i t i s an eostatic hymn to changeless and timeless love.1 0 A l l of the situations vnich constitute the chief topics of the nine cantos are episodes concerned with l o v e — the drinking of the love philtre, the forest bower interlude, Tristram's banishment, his marriage, Iseult's grief at their separation, the Joyous Gard interlude, Iseult of Brittany's growing hatred of the lovers, their second separation, and their reunion i n death. In each of these situations, the emotions attendant upon l o v e -joy i n union, grief i n separation, remorse for sin and resoluteness for f i d e l i t y — t h e s e are the aspects devel-oped by the poet. Thus, as Oliver Elton remarks: 1 0 T. E. Welby, A Study of Swinburne (New York: George H. Doran Co., 1 9 2 6 ) , p. 2 1 5 . 114 . . . the subject of Tristram i s not so much the long-canonized lovers as Love i t s e l f . . . .11 The love which i s exalted i n Tristram of  Lyonesse i s not mere physical passion but a transcend-ent, spi r i t u a l power. In the "Prelude," Swinburne invokes; Love, that i s f i r s t and last of a l l things made, The light that has the l i v i n g world for shade, The s p i r i t that for temporal v e i l has on p The souls of a l l men woven i n unison. . • .1^ This love i t i s which gives both joy and grief, which elevates and sanctifies the lovers even as i t leads them inexorably to their doom: Love that i s f i r e within thee and light above, And lives by grace of nothing but by love; Through many and lovely thoughts and much desire Led these twain to the l i f e of tears and f i r e ; Through many and lovely days and much delight Led these twain to the l i f e l e s s l i f e of night.13 Swinburne's description of the philtre, the instrument by which love enters and transforms the lives of Tristram and Iseult, expresses the power of this spiritual love to transcend moral conventions and to convey a paradoxical burden of ecstasy and sorrow. Iseult comes to Tristram: 11 Oliver Elton, Modern Studies (London: E. Arnold, 1907), p. 224. 12 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 2 5 , 11. 1-4. 13 Ibid., p. 26, 11. 15320. 115 Holding the love-draught that should be for flame To burn out of them fear and f a i t h and shame, And lighten a l l their l i f e up i n men's sight, And make them sad forever. I 4" Since this spiritual love seeks physical expression, i t i s paradoxically both of the flesh and of the s p i r i t . In the "Prelude," love i s described ass The body spir i t u a l of f i r e and light That i s to worldly noon as noon to night; Love, that i s flesh upon the s p i r i t of man And s p i r i t within the flesh whencs breath began. . • .15 The love which endues Tristram and Iseult with spiritual grace i s thus frequently manifested i n physical passion, as i n the bower scene, whens . . . with strong trembling fingers she strained fast His head into her bosom; t i l l at last, Satiate with sweetness of that burning bed, His eyes afire with tears, he raised his head And laughed into her l i p s ; and a l l his heart F i l l e d hers; then face from face f e l l , and apart Each hung on each with panting l i p s , and f e l t Sense into sense and s p i r i t i n s p i r i t melt.16 Of this passage, George Barlow remarks: Here, as always i n Mr. Swinburne's greater work, we find the dominating conviction that sense and s p i r i t are not separate, lh "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 56, 11. 7-10. 15 Ibid., p. 25, 11. 9-12. 16 Ibid., p. 69, 11. 20-27. are, i n fact, inseparable, and that, i n the highest love, i t i s the actual imminent soul which speaks and makes i t s e l f f e l t through the i n f i n i t e l y del-icate and subtle physical fabric of passion. 1' It i s this sublime fusion of sense and s p i r i t which i s exalted and glorified i n the poem. Although f i d e l i t y to this love i s , i n Tristram  of Lyonesse. more imperative than obedience to the moral-i t y ordained by religion, violation of the moral code i s nevertheless accompanied by passionate remorse. H. J. C. Grierson states: The strain i n Swinburne's poem i s always that of passionate exaltation— love and hate; and to my mind the most characteristic and moving section i s that i n which Iseult . . . pours forth the conflict between her passionate longing for the vanished Tristram, and her consciousness of s i n — f o r the poem i s dramatically a poem of the Middle Ages, sin a r e a l i t y . 1 8 Iseult wishes to pray for Tristram, but, burdened by her sense of sin, she doubts that her prayer w i l l be acceptable: 17 George Barlow, "The Spiritual Side of Swinburne's Genius," Contemporary Review. LXXXVIII (August, 1905), 245. 18 H. J. C. Grierson, Swinburne (London: published for the British Council by Longmans, Green and Co., 1953), p. 21. 117 . • • wilt thou care, God, for this love, i f love be" any, alas, In me to give thee, though long since there was, How long, when I too, Lord, was clean, even I, That now am unclean t i l l the day I die—!° Yet she glories i n her guilt, since i t i s the measure of her love for Tristram: Blest am I beyond women even herein, That beyond a l l born women i s my sin, And perfect my transgression: that above A l l offerings of a l l others i s my love, Who have chosen i t only, and put away for this Thee, and my soul's hope, Saviour. • . .20 In the end, the conflict unresolved, she can pray only that i n spite of their transgression, God w i l l not keep ". • . i n twain forever heart and heart. . . ."21 The love for which Tristram and Iseult forsake a l l other obligations brings equally joy and bitterness. When they partook of the love philtre, they entered upon a new l i f e , and yet they " . . . quaffed Death. • • ," 2 2 Each tryst commences a new l i f e , and concomitantly each separation brings a new death. During his exile i n Brittany, Tristram meditates upon the bittersweet meta-physical relation of love and death: 19 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 95, 11. 30-34-. 20 Ibid., p. 96, 11. 27-32. 21 Ibid., p. 103, 1. 24-. 22 Ibid., p. 56, 11. 26-27. 118 "As the dawn loves the sunlight I love thee"5 As men that shall be swallowed of the sea Love the sea's lovely beauty; as the night That wanes before i t loves the sweet young lig h t And dies of loving; We have loved and slain each other, and love yet. d3 He concludes: Yea, surely as the day-star loves the sun And when he hath risen i s utterly undone, So i s my love of her and hers of me— p. And i t s most sweetness bitter as the sea. ^ This conflict of love and sorrow i s resolved only i n death i t s e l f . The portrayal of the characters i n Tristram  of Lyonesse i s largely i n accord with their character-ization i n the Sir Tristrem and a l l of the other medieval romances derived from the Tristan of Thomas. But whereas i n most medieval versions there i s l i t t l e attention to motive, i n Swinburne's poem the psychological motivat-ion of the characters i s f u l l y developed. Traditionally, i t i s implied that Tristram's refusal to consummate his marriage to Iseult of the White Hands arises from respect for his f i r s t love. Swinburne follows this version, but dwells upon the inner conflict which Tristram suffers, of f i d e l i t y to 23 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. %^ 11. 1>^& 8. 2h Ibid., p. ft, 11. 23-26. 119 Iseult with pity and desire for the young bride: Tristram i s thus not rendered insensible to the charms of his maiden wife by the memory of for the Queen of Cornwall; nor i s his conscience easily re-conciled to a decision which w i l l deny his wife her right of motherhood. He i s f u l l y aware of the incom-patible obligations under which he i s held, and his choice between them i s made only after bitter heart-searching. emphasizes her innate nobility of soul. She i s here far more conscious of sinfulness than was her prototype i n the medieval romances. Just as passionately as she desires reunion with Tristram she fears that their love w i l l be his damnation, as she believes i t to be hers. So selfless i s her love that she would deny i t i n order to secure her lover's salvation; she exclaims: Nay, Lord, I pray thee let him love not me, Love me not any more, nor lik e me die, And be no more than such a thing as I. Turn his heart from me, lest my love too lose Thee as I lose thee, and his f a i r soul refuse . Fierce regret Iseult's soliloquy in.the v i g i l scene 25 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 90, 11. 18-22. 120 For my sake thy f a i r heaven, and as I f e l l F a l l , and be mixed with my soul and .with hell.26 Iseult i s thus, i n Swinburne's poem, f u l l y aware of the implications of her submission to love. The character of Mark i n Tristram of Lyonesse i s somewhat ambivalent. He i s described as: A swart lean man, but kinglike, s t i l l of guise, With black streaked beard and cold unquiet eyes, Close-mouthed, gaunt-cheeked, wan as a morning moon, And way-worn seemed he with l i f e ' s wayfaring.2/ But Mark, i n spite of his gauntness and his "cold unquiet eyes," i s not a sinister figure. He awaits Iseult's ar r i v a l i n a mood " . . . fixed between mild hope and patient pride; • • ."28 but his f i r s t glimpse of her presents a vision which so surpasses his expect-ation that he i s overcome with reverence for her beauty and shame for his own unworthiness. It i s not Mark but a felon kinsman who lays the trap to discover Tristram's love and attempts to k i l l him, although presumably he does so with Mark's consent. When, after their death,. Mark learns the cause of the long-drawn suffering of 26 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 97, 11* 22-28. 27 IbJaL., p. 60, 11. 3-5 & 9. 28 Ibid., p. 60, 1. 12. Tristram and Iseult, he exclaims, weeping: Had I wist, Ye had never sinned nor died thus, nor had I Borne i n t h i s doom that bade you s i n and die So sore a part of sorrow. 2 9 Mark i s thus, although l e s s so than Tristram and Iseult, a t r a g i c v i c t i m of the love p h i l t r e , and a nobler figure than h i s counterpart i n the S i r Tristrem. In the medieval romances the character of Iseult of Brittany i s enigmatic. At the time of her marriage she i s sweetly pure i n mind and heart; yet at Tristram's death-bed, her mind, which previously seemed incapable of an ignoble thought, suddenly conceives an e v i l plan whereby to cause Tristram to die of g r i e f . Tennyson avoided t h i s perplexing inconsistency i n her character by following that account of Tristram's death given i n the Morte d'Arthur; Arnold, by inventing a new conclusion to the t a l e . In Tristram of Lyonesse. Swinburne followed the e a r l i e r medieval version, but removed the inconsistency by explaining i t as a gradual transformation of character. When Tristram f i r s t encounters Iseult of Brittany, she i s the timid maiden of the t r a d i t i o n a l legend: 29 ^Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 167, 11. 14-17. 1 2 2 She looked on him and loved him; but being young Made shamefastness a seal upon her tongue, And on her heart, that none might hear her c r y > \n Set the sweet signet of h u m i l i t y . J U Such i s the maiden who becomes hi s wife. During Tristram's sojourn with Iseult at Joyous Gard, however, lonely and anguished brooding over her s i t u a t i o n transforms her sweet love for her husband i n t o b i t t e r hatred of him. Swinburne explains that: . . . a l l that year i n Brittany f o r l o r n , More sick at heart with wrath than fear of scorn And l e s s i n love with love than g r i e f , and l e s s With g r i e f than pride of s p i r i t and bitterness, T i l l a l l the sweet l i f e of her blood was changed And a l l her soul from a l l her past estranged And a l l her w i l l with a l l i t s e l f at s t r i f e And a l l her mind at war with a l l her l i f e , Dwelt the white-handed Iseult, maid and w i f e . . . . . 3 1 The wife to whom Tristram returns a f t e r the Joyous Gard interlude i s thus as consciously and w i l f u l l y e v i l as she was unconsciously virtuous i n the early days of her marriage. When Tristram, mortally wounded while rescuing his young namesake's bride, begs Ganhardine to summon the I r i s h Iseult, and explains the device of the 3 0 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 8 1 , 1 1 . 3 1 - 3 4 -3 1 Ibid., p. 1 2 1 , 1 1 . 1 - 9 . 123 white and black signal s a i l s , the.Breton Iseult overhears: And hard within her heavy heart she cursed Both,.and her l i f e was turned to f i e r y t h i r s t , And a l l her soul was hunger, and i t s breath Of hope and l i f e a blast of raging death. For only i n hope of e v i l was her l i f e . 3 2 The deception of Tristram which causes h i s death i s thus motivated not by an apparently sudden whim of jealousy, but by a conscious, all-consuming passion f o r vengeance. Tristram of Lyonesse i s a masterpiece of technical craftsmanship. Of Swinburne's poem, Edward Thomas says: A l l h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ways with words help to enrich the poem, chiming of words, r e p e t i t i o n , d u p l i c a t i o n and balancing of words and thoughts, abundance of f u l l vowels and e s p e c i a l l y of the vowel of " l i g h t " and "fire. " 3 3 Technical devices are employed to enhance the l y r i c a l beauty of the l i n e s and to emphasize the dramatic s i g -n i f i cance of narrative passages. Abundant a l l i t e r a t i o n decorates and rhythmically reinforces the flowing heroic couplets of the poem. An extensive use of metaphor and of simile i n the epic manner lends colour and richness to the descriptive passages. Perhaps the most i n t e r e s t -ing device i s the technique of echo, i n which by repet-32 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 155, 11. 25-29 33 Thomas, p. 217. 124-i t i o n of words and ideas or by an emphasized si m i l a r -i t y of situations, the thematic significance of an episode i s accentuated, often with i r o n i c e f f e c t . The s t r u c t u r a l balance of the poem establish-es a s i g n i f i c a n t pattern. The f i r s t canto, which des-cribes the inception of love i n the l i v e s of Tristram and Iseult, i s e n t i t l e d "The S a i l i n g of the Swallow;" the l a s t canto, i n which love brings them at l a s t to death and the end of sorrow, i s "The S a i l i n g of the Swan." The canto which presents the forest bower interlude i s followed by that devoted to Tristram's g r i e f i n separation from Iseult; "The Maiden Marriage" i s followed by a portrayal of Iseult*s g r i e f ; and "Joyous Gard" precedes the portrayal of the Breton Iseult's growing hatred of Tristram during t h e i r separation. The pattern i n these s i x cantos i s thus one of alternate union and separation, joy and g r i e f . This balancing of situations i s p a r a l l e l e d by an echoing of similar words i n contrasting s i t u a t i o n s . Such echoes occur between the f i r s t canto and the eighth and ninth. The moment before the drinking of the love p h i l t r e i s described as: The l a s t hour of t h e i r hurtless hearts at r e s t , The l a s t that peace should touch them, breast to breast, 125 The last that sorrow far from them should s i t , 34 This last was with them, and they knew not i t . These words describing the last hour of innocence and ignorance of their fate are echoed i n canto eight, i n the scene of the lovers' last parting, made i n f u l l aware-ness of the death which awaits them; the moment of parting i s : The last time ere the travel were begun Whose goal i s unbeholden of the sun. The last wherewith love's eyes might yet be l i t , Came, and they could but dream they knew not it.35 The moment of f i r s t love i s similarly echoed i n the moment of death. In the f i r s t avowal of love: Their heads neared, and their hands were drawn i n one. And they saw dark, though s t i l l the unsunken sun Far through fine rain shot f i r e into the south; ~, And their four l i p s became one burning mouth.3° When love's f i r e i n Tristram has at last been extinguish-ed by death, Iseult: . . . came and stood above him newly dead, And f e l t his death upon her; and her head Bowed, as to reach the spring that slakes a l l drouth; _„ And their four l i p s became one silent mouth^' 3*f "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 55, 11. 19-22. 35 Ibid., p. 130, 11. 27-30. 36 Ibid., p. 57, 11. 7-10. 37 Ibid., p. 165, 11. 13-3-6. 126 This description of the love-death thus echoes that of the birth of love. In the last canto, a word echo i s employed . with ironic effect. As the Breton Iseult keeps v i g i l by Tristram's death-bed: • . . hatred t h r i l l e d her to the hands and feet, Listening: for always back reiterate came The passionate faint burden of her name.3© It was this same "passionate faint burden" which, i n the third canto, convinced her that i t was she whom Tristram loved; hearing him sing of "Iseult," she innocently assumed the song was for her. On their marriage night, Tristram remembered his love for the Irish Iseult and their sharing of the philtre: . . . and he spake Aloud one burning word for love's keen sake— 'Iseult'; and f u l l of love and lovelier fear A virgin voice gave answer— • I am here,.'39 The dramatic irony of this response contrasts with the conscious irony of the same reply i n the later scene. In his delirium Tristram confuses the two Iseults, and says: Seeing hardly through dark dawn her doubtful head, 'Iseult? 1 and like a death-bell faint and clear . The virgin voice rang answer—*I am here. 1 4 , 0 38 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 156, 1. 32 - p. 157, 1. 2. 39 Ibid., p. 92, 11.. 11-1*+. ho i b i d . , p. 163, 11. 2-W 127 The word echo thus establishes an ironic contrast between self-deception and self-awareness, and between the circumstances of Tristram's marriage-bed and those of his death-bed. There are both structural balance and echoing of words between the invocation to love with which the "Prelude" opens and that to fate which commences the concluding canto. The story of the love of Tristram and Iseult begins: Love, that i s f i r s t and last of a l l things made, The light that has the li v i n g world for shade, The spirit.that for temporal v e i l has on The souls of a l l men woven i n unison, Through many and lovely thoughts and much desire Led these twain to the l i f e of tears and f i r e ; Through many and lovely days and much delight Led these twain to the l i f e l e s s l i f e of night.41 Canto nine, i n which the lovers come to the end of their " l i f e of tears and f i r e " and enter "the l i f e l e s s l i f e of night," begins with this invocation: Pate, that was born ere s p i r i t and flesh were made, The f i r e that f i l l s man's l i f e with light and shade; The power beyond all.godhead which puts on A l l forms of multitudinous unison, Through many and wearied days of fo i l e d desire Leads l i f e to rest where tears no more take f i r e ; 41 ^Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 25, 11. 1-4 & p. 26, 11. 17-128 Through many and weary dreams of quenched delight Leads l i f e through death past sense, of day and night. The canto i n which the love story terminates thus recalls the "Prelude," and contrasts i t s turbulence with the tranquillity of eternal rest. The strange fate of Merlin, who sleeps forever by the enchantment of Nimue, i s f i r s t introduced i n the opening canto of the poem. Merlin has been put under Nimue's spell not because, as in Arnold's "Tristram and Iseult," she i s weary of his love, but because he i s weary of l i f e . In canto six, Tristram and Iseult speak wistfully of Merlin, who: Takes his strange rest at heart of slumberland, More deep asleep i n green Broceliande Than shipwrecked sleepers i n the soft green sea Beneath the weight of wandering waves. . . .3 Merlin and Nimue are enabled by their supernatural powers to achieve a mystic union of love even after his depart-ure from l i f e : Yea, heart i n heart i s molten, hers and his, Into the world's heart and the soul that i s Beyond or sense or vision. . . . Tristraa and Iseult long for the tranquillity of £his 4-2 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 150, 11. 1-4- & p. 151, 11. 13-18. 4-3 Ibid., p. 115, 11. 23-26, kh Ibid., p. 116, 11. 19-21. 129 spiritual union i n death, which they fear can never be theirs. After their death, a tomb was erected for them i n Cornwall, but, Swinburne says, i t has since been buried by the sea. And thus, just as Merlin sleeps under the green leaves which resemble the green sea, so Tristram and Iseult achieve their eternal rest: . . . peace they have that none may gain who l i v e , And rest about them that no love can give, And over them, while death and l i f e shall be, The light and sound and darkness of the sea."+5 Throughout the poem, by the device of pathetic fallacy, the wind and the sea echo.the various emotions of the principal characters. ¥. B. D. Henderson says of Swinburne that i n this poem: He gives to his Tristram and Iseult i n their " l i f e of tears and f i r e " the rapture and grief of the sea for sympathy; he makes their melancholy and their glory germane to the stars. 4? In "The Sailing of the Swallow" the sea i s at f i r s t merry, reflecting the innocent merriment of the s t i l l -innocent pair, and then storm-tossed, foreshadowing the stormy emotions which they are soon to suffer. During Iseult's soul-searching v i g i l on the night of Tristram's marriage, the storm of wind and sea echoes each phase of 4-5 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 168, 11. 5-8. 4-6 Henderson, p. 232. 130 her anguished soliloquy; she believes herself damned: And as man's anguish clamouring cried the wind, And as God's anger answering rang the sea.4"? She prays for mercy: And like man's heart relenting sighed the wind, And as God's wrath subsiding sank the sea.4"0 The pathetic fallacy occurs again i n canto six, where the Breton Iseult's hatred of Tristram i s reflected i n a storm over the sea at sunset: So mused she t i l l the f i r e i n sea and sky Sank, and the north-west wind spake harsh on high, And like the sea's heart waxed her heart that heard. Strong, dark, and bitter, t i l l the keen wind's word Seemed of her own soul spoken, and the breath A l l round her not of darkness but of death.^9 Similar passages accompany the expression of grief and joy throughout the poem. There are also images i n which the sea corres-ponds to mankind and the sun to the light and f i r e of love. In canto one, Tristram sings: Love, as the sun and sea are thou and I, Sea without sun dark, sun without sea bright. . . .50 4-7 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 101, 11. 20-21. 4-8 Ibid., p. 103, 11. 14-15. 4-9 Ibid., p. 128, 11. 15-20. 50 Ibid., p. 50, 11. 32-33. 131 During the forest interlude, Iseult awakens to find Tristram bending over her: And with the lovely laugh of love that takes The whole soul prisoner ere the whole sense .wakes, Her l i p s for love's sake bade love's w i l l be done. ^ And a l l the sea lay subject to the sun.? 1 As the sea i s subject to the sun, so Iseult i s here totally submissive to love. Again, i n the eighth canto, Swinburne describes the Limitless love that l i f t s the stir r i n g sea When on her bare bright bosom as a bride She takes the young sun, perfect i n his pride, Home to his place with passion. . . . 5 2 Throughout the poem, reunion of the lovers i s equated with the relation of sun and sea. In some passages the sea becomes a symbol of liberty, as i t frequently i s i n the works of Swinburne. Of Swinburne's poetry, T. E. Welby says: . . . the ceaseless and vehement aspiration to liberty i s no accident . . . liberty i s the v i t a l principle of Swinburne, animating • . . a l l of his work that i s truly alive . . . . He brought to ClibertyJ . . . the ardour with which he entered into t&e l i f e of her supreme symbol, the sea . . . . 5 3 51 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 72, 11. 15-18 52 Ibid., p, 143, 11. 2-5. 53 Welby, p. 4. 132 It i s notable that the love of Tristram and Iseult i s engendered while they share the liberty of the sea. Later, Tristram preserves his liberty by leaping from a chantry window into the sea i n order to escape death. On the morning of his last battle, he swims far out to sea, and there enjoys a sense of liberation from the grief of his separation from Iseult. It i s by means of the sea that Iseult escapes from the fetters of l i f e i n Mark's court and i s brought to Tristram's death-bed. Finally, the engulfing of the lovers' tomb by the sea symbolizes the liberty which they achieve i n death, the liberation from "the l i f e of tears and f i r e " which only death can give. In Tristram of Lyonesse. the Tristram legend i s retold for i t s own beauty. There i s no allegory beyond the implicit one of the relation of love and death, the bittersweetness of love and i t s resolution i n the tranquillity of death. The story i s given much as i t must have been i n the Tristan of Thomas, from which the northern Sir Tristrem was derived. In plot, characterization, and theme, Swinburne's poem i s fai t h f u l to the medieval versions of the legend. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION Although the versions of the Tristram legend given by Arnold, Tennyson and Swinburne differ conspic-uously i n many ways, they have i n common the influence of the age i n which and for which they were written. Examination of the differences among these three treat-ments of the legend reveals also a fundamental simil-arity among them. Some of the differences i n plot and charact-erization arise obviously from differences i n the sources which these poets employed. As has been shown i n the previous chapters, 1 Arnold drew his material largely from La Villemarque 1s summary, Tennyson from the Morte d 1Arthur, and Swinburne primarily from the northern Sir Tristrem. supplemented by episodes from the Morte d'Arthur and from the poems included i n Michel 1s Recueil. Tennyson's version i s thus based ultimately upon the prose Tristan, whereas the narratives of Arnold :- 1 Suura ? pp. 50-5"+, 79, & 105-110. 133 and Swinburne depend largely upon the version courtoise of Thomas's Tristan and i t s derivatives. The differen-ces i n plot and characterization between these two trad-itions of the Tristram legend are great, as has been shown in Chapter I. However, since the selection of sources was only i n Swinburne's case not dictated by circumstance—for Arnold was unaware of the variety of sources available, and Tennyson's choice was impeded by a previous commitment to the Arthurian framework— differences i n treatment which can be attributed to different source materials do not constitute a r e l -iable basis for comparison of the three Victorian versions. A l l three poets made certain alterations i n the plot and characterization given by their source material. Arnold altered the character of Iseult of Brittany and her behaviour at Tristram's death-bed i n order to present her as a consistently virtuous, noble, and long-suffering woman, and as a symbol of the Stoic way of l i f e . Tennyson invented the scene of the Tournament of the Dead Innocence and increased the degradation of the principal characters begun i n his source i n order to adapt the legend to i t s role i n the moral allegory of the Idylls of the King* Swinburne 135 omitted Iseult of Ireland's cruelty to Brangwain, and selected and reordered episodes from the t r a d i t i o n a l story i n order to ennoble the lovers and emphasize the thematic love element of the legend. Since these a l t -erations i n plot and character are influenced by the purpose f o r which each poem was written, differences i n treatment a r i s i n g from such alterations can be attributed to the d i f f e r i n g purposes governing the three poems. The d i d a c t i c purpose of Arnold's "Tristram and Iseult" i s e x p l i c i t i n Part I I I , i n the " c r i t i c -ism of l i f e " passage, where Arnold reveals the s i g -n i f i c a n c e of the central problem of Tristram's div-ided l o y a l t y . The two loves between which Tristram i s torn can be regarded as symbolic of the Romantic and Stoic ways of l i f e , and Tristram's dilemma as r e f l e c t i n g the d i v i s i o n of Arnold's own l o y a l t y between the l i f e of the emotions and the l i f e of the i n t e l l e c t . 2 In t h i s passage Arnold r e j e c t s the l i f e of pure reason which, by denying the emotions, " . . . leaves the f i e r c e necessity to f e e l , / But takes away the power."3 But he rej e c t s also the l i f e of uncontrolled Romantic i n d i v i d -2 Supra, p. 73. 3 ^Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 123-124. ualism, i n which the subjection of reason by the emotions renders man an easy prey to " . . . t h i s f o o l passion. . . Tristram, i n preferring Iseult of Ireland to Iseult of Brittany, has chosen the l i f e of the senses and abandoned himself to passion. His choice i s c l e a r l y wrong i n Arnold's view, since i t causes not only the l o v e r s 1 deaths but also the wife's suffering, and makes her an innocent v i c t i m of the passion which she h e r s e l f r e s i s t e d . Arnold 1s sympathy for the Breton Iseult i s thus dictated by h i s r e j e c t i o n of both the l i f e of the senses and the l i f e of pure reason. As he port-rays her, she has avoided both abandonment to passion and denial of the emotions, and i s therefore not dest-royed by suffering, but able to endure i t ; her Stoic way of l i f e represents the best solution Arnold can offer to the problem of h i s divided l o y a l t y . "Tristram and Iseult" i s thus an i m p l i c i t l y d i d a c t i c poem, intended to draw attention to the dilemma which Arnold suffered i n hi s own l i f e and perceived i n h i s age, and to present the solut-ion which he advocated. Tennyson's purpose i n "The Last Tournament" i s avowedly d i d a c t i c , since h i s treatment of the Tristram legend i s designed to sustain the moral allegory of the k "Tristram and Iseult," i i i , 1$*?': '•. I d y l l s of the King. During h i s l i f e t i m e Tennyson, as F. E. L. P r i e s t l e y asserts,5" was deeply concerned with the growing materialism which he perceived i n the society of his age. Commenting on the purpose of the I d y l l s . P r i e s t l e y says: The I d y l l s present i n allegory the p h i l -osophy which pervades the whole of Tennyson's poetry, the philosophy which he f e l t i t necessary to assert throughout his poetic l i f e t i m e . Penetrating a l l h i s poetry i s the strong f a i t h i n the eternal world of s p i r i t . . . . The assertion of the v a l i d i t y and necessity of idealism i s re-inforced by continual,warnings of the dangers of materialism. . . .° In the I d y l l s Tennyson i l l u s t r a t e s , by the disastrous consequences of Guinevere's preference for the worldly comforts of Lancelot's love and her consequent f a i l u r e to embrace Arthur's idealism, how such a f a i l u r e leads from the crime of sense to the crime of malice, and u l t -imately to the destruction of man and society. The idealism which Tennyson st r i v e s to restore to h i s age i s that of the p r i n c i p l e s of C h r i s t i a n i t y . P r i e s t l e y says: He wants to make the reader understand how these p r i n c i p l e s become neglected, and what must happen to indiv i d u a l s and s o c i e t i e s who neglect them. He i s voicing a warning to h i s own age and nation, and to a l l ages and nations.7 '$ F. E. L. P r i e s t l e y , "Tennyson's I d y l l s . " University of  Toronto Quarterly. XIX (October, 194-9), Mo*. 6 Ibid., pp. 4-8-4-9. 7 Ibid., p. 4-9. 138 The didactic purpose of the M^IAs i s to convey this warning. The Tristram legend i s employed i n "The Last Tournament" to depict the fa t a l consequences of adult-ery, which Tristram i n Tennyson's version commits because of his failure to respect and adopt Arthur's idealism. In Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse. the legend i s treated chiefly for i t s own beauty. Implied in.the exaltation of human love, which i s conceived as a passion at once physical and spiritual, there i s , however, a criticism of the Puritan distrust of passion which Swinburne perceived i n the moral code of his age. His attack upon the hypocrisy which he detected i n the Puritan morality i s implicit i n his portrait of Iseult of Brittany. During Tristram's absence, as her love for him i s gradually transformed into hatred, she dis-guises her malice with a mask of self-righteous Puritan piety. She attempts to justify her passion for vengeance by a hypocritical abhorrence of adultery: Nor seemed the wrath which held her s p i r i t i n stress Aught else or worse than passionate holiness. Nor the ardent hate which called on judgment's rod o More hateful than the righteousness of God.° 8 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 124, 11. 25-28. 139 In her prayer, she exclaims to God: Do I not well, being angry? doth not h e l l Require them? yea, thou knowest that I do well.9 I r o n i c a l l y , her hatred exceeds i n i t s passionate intens-i t y the passionate love which she so abhors. Just as her malice causes Tristram's death, so, Swinburne would have us i n f e r , h y p o c r i t i c a l Puritan morality can des-troy an ennobling, sanctifying love. Thus i n Tristram  of Lyonesse. there i s a d i d a c t i c purpose i n the i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of the morality of Swinburne's age. Although the d i d a c t i c purposes governing the treatments of the Tristram legend by Arnold, Tennyson and Swinburne are d i f f e r e n t , each poet wrote fo r the V i c t o r i a n age, and was influenced i n h i s purpose by h i s view of the contemporary society and i t s problems. The differences i n purpose thus arise c h i e f l y out of d i f f e r -ing views of that society. Arnold's r e j e c t i o n of the l i f e of the senses was a reaction against the l i n g e r i n g influence of Romanticism, the consequences of which caused him concern both f o r his own future and for that of his age. Tennyson perceived i n V i c t o r i a n society the pernicious influence of ignoble materialism, and sought to combat the encroaching corruption by proclaiming the moral necessity of idealism. Even Swinburne's r e v o l t against the V i c t o r i a n d i s t r u s t of passion reveals the 9 "Tristram of Lyonesse," p. 125, 11. 3-4-influence of h i s age, since the hypocrisy inherent i n i t s moral code in s p i r e d both h i s r e j e c t i o n of i t ; and h i s compensatory exal t a t i o n of passionate love. The treatments of the Tristram legend given by these three V i c t o r i a n poets thus have i n common a d i d a c t i c purpose and the influence of the age i n which and f o r which they were written, and d i f f e r according to the various aspects of the age which the writers selected f o r c r i t i c i s m and i n s t r u c t i o n . Of the three V i c t o r i a n treatments, Tristram  of Lyonesse i s c l e a r l y the most f a i t h f u l to the s p i r i t of the t r a d i t i o n a l legend. Arnold was prevented by h i s d i s t r u s t of passion and Tennyson by the demands of hi s a l l e g o r i c a l framework from giving the love story the sympathetic treatment i t received i n the medieval metrical romances. Only i n Swinburne's poem i s the love story permitted to resume i t s former prominence. The love which Swinburne depicts has neither the courtly element of the love i n Thomas's poem nor the mysticism associated with i t i n the T r i s t a n of G o t t f r i e d von Strassburg. But i n plot and characterization, and i n the thematic exaltation of love i t s e l f , Swinburne's poem i s refreshingly f a i t h f u l to the s p i r i t of the trad-i t i o n a l legend as i t was narrated by Thomas and Gottfried von Strassburg. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE This bibliography cites only works actually consulted and found to be of some relevance to the sub-ject of this thesis. However, the inclusion of a work does not necessarily imply agreement with i t s statements. BIBLIOGRAPHY I. PRIMARY MATERIALS Arnold, Matthew. The Letters of Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh Clough. Edited by H. F. Lowry. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1932. • The Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold. Edited by C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1950. Bedier, Joseph. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult. Translated by Hilaire Belloc. New York: Pantheon Books, 19"+5. Malory, Sir Thomas. The Works of Sir Thomas Malory. Edited by Eugene Vinaver. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 19M7. Marie de France. Lais. Edited by Alfred Ewert. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1947. Sir Tristrem. Edited by George P. McNeill. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood and Sons, 1886. Spenser, Edmund. The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser. Edited by J. C. Smith. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1909. Swinburne, Algernon Charles. The Complete Works of  Algernon Charles Swinburne. Edited by Sir Edmund Gosse and Thomas James Wise. 20 vols. London: W. Heinemann, 1925-27. lk-2 Tennyson, Alfred. Idylls of the King. Annotated by Alfred Lord Tennyson and edited by Hallam Lord Tennyson. London: Macmillan, 1908. Von Strassburg, Gottfried. The 'Tristan and Isolde 1  of Gottfried von Strassburg. Translated with an introduction, notes, and connecting summaries by Edwin H. Zeydel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 19*+8. II . SECONDARY MATERIALS A. B o o k s Baugh, Albert C , e!d. A Literary History of England. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 19"+8. Baum, Paull Franklin. Ten Studies i n the Poetry of  Matthew Arnold. Durham, N. C : Duke University Press, 1958. Bonnerot, Louis. Matthew Arnolds Poete; Essai de Biogranhie Psychologique. Paris: Librairle Marcel Didier,.19"+7. Brooke, Stopford A. Clough. Arnold. Rossetti. and Morriss a Study . . .. London: I. Pitman, 1910. • Tennyson. His Art and Relation to Modem L i f e . New York and London: G. Putnam's Sons, 189'+. Brown, E. K. Matthew Arnolds a Study i n Conflict. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 19"+8. Bruce, J. D. The Evolution of Arthurian Romance. 2 vols. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1928. Chambers, Sir E. K. Matthew Arnold: a Study. Oxford: Clarendon, 19"+7. Cox, G. W. and E. H. Jones. Popular Romances of the Middle Ages. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1871. De Rougement, Denis. Love i n the Western World. Trans-lated by Montgomery Belgion. Revised and augmented edition. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1957. 1^ 3 Dunlop, J. C. History of Prose Fiction. A new edition, revised with notes, appendices, and index by Henry Wilson. 2 vols. London; G. Bell and Sons, 1906. Elton, Oliver. Modern Studies. London: E. Arnold, 1907. Fausset, H. I. Tennyson, a Modern Portrait. London: Selwyn and Blount, 1923. Gosse, Sir Edmund. The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne. New York: Macmillan Co., 1917. Grierson, H. J. C. Swinburne. London: published for the British Council by Longmans, Green and Co., 1953. Hare, Humphrey. Swinburne: a Biographical Approach. London: Witherby, 1949. Henderson, W. B. D. Swinburne and Landor. a Study of  Their Spiritual Relationship and i t s Effect upon  Swinburne's Moral and Poetic Development. London: Macmillan and Co., 1918. Hicks, Edward. Sir Thomas Malory: His Turbulent Career. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 192b1. Hutton, R. H. Literary Essays. London: Macmillan and Co., 1908. Lafourcade, Georges. La Jeunesse de Swinburne (1837-1867). 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press, 1928. Lang, Andrew. Alfred Tennyson. 2nd ed. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1901. Lewis, C. S. The Allegory of Love. London: Oxford University Press, 1936. Littledale, Harold. Essays on Lord Tennyson's Idylls  of the King. London: Macmillan and Co., 1912. Loomis, R. S., ed. Arthurian Literature i n the Middle  Ages: a Collaborative History. Oxford: Clarendon, 19^97 . Arthurian Tradition and Chretien de Troyes. New York: Columbia University Press,. 1949. Ly a l l , A. C. Tennyson. New York: Macmillan Co., 1902. 144 Maccallum, M. W. Tennyson's Idylls of the King and  Arthurian Story from the XVIth Century, Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, 189"+, Macdonald, Isobei. The Buried Self: a Background to the  Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1848-1851. London: P. Davies, Mackail, J, W. Studies of English Poets, London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1926. Murry, John Middleton. Discoveries: Essays i n Literary Criticism. London: ¥. C o l l i n s 1 Sons and Co., 1924. Nicholson, H. G. Swinburne. New York: Macmillan Co., 1926. . Tennyson. Aspects of his L i f e . Character and Poetry.2nd ed.London: Constable, 1949, Pallen, Conde Blnoist. The Meaning of the Idylls of the  King: an Essay i n Interpretation, New York: American Book Co., 1 9 0 4 . ! Rhys, John. Studies i n the Arthurian Legend. Oxford: Clarendon, 1891. ' Russell, G. ¥. E. Matthew Arnold. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1904. Schoepperle, Gertrude. Tristan and Isolt: a Study of  the Sources of the Romance. 2 vols. 2nd ed., ex-panded by a bibliography and c r i t i c a l essay on Tristan scholarship since 1912, by R. S. Loomis. New York: Burt Franklin, I960. Schofield, ¥. H. English Literature from the Norman Conquest to Chaucer. London: Macmillan and Co,, 1906. Scudder, Vida M. Le Morte Darthur of Sir Thomas Malory; a Study of the Book and i t s Sources. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1921. Sells, I r i s E. Matthew Arnold and France: the Poet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1935. Stanley, Carleton. Matthew Arnold. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1938, Stedman, E. C. Victorian Poets. Revised edition. London: Chatto and ¥indus, 1887. Swinburne, Algernon Charges. Essays and Studies. 5th ed. London: Chatto and Windus, 1901. . Under the Microscope. London: D. White, 1872. Thomas, Edward. Algernon Charles Swinburne, a C r i t i c a l  Study. London: M. Seeker, 1912. Tinker, C. B. and H. F. Lowry. The Poetry of Matthew  Arnold: a Commentary. London: Oxford University Press, 1940. ' Tennyson, Sir Charles. Six Tennyson Essays. London: Cassell, 1954. Tennyson, Hallam. Alfred Lord Tennyson: a Memoir, by  his Son. 2 vols", London: Macmillan, 1906. T r i l l i n g , Lionel. Matthew Arnold. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 194-9. Vinaver, Eugdne. Malory. Oxford: Clarendon, 1929. Welby, T. E. A, Study of Swinburne. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1926. Weston, Jessie L. From Ritual to Romance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920. The Legend of Sir Lancelot du Lac. London: David Nutt, 1901. B. Articles Barlow, GeOrge. "The Spiritual Side of Swinburne's Genius." 'Contemporary Review. LXXXVIII (August, 1905), 231-256. Brown. E. K. "Swinburne: a Centenary Estimate." Univers- i t y "of Toronto Quarterly. VI, No. 2 (January, 1937), ... 215-235. ; ; Burchell, S. C. "Tennyson's 'Allegory i n the Distance'," Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, LXVIII, No. 3 (June, 1953), 4-18-4-24-. CaSlamanos, D. "Tennyson's Ideal Man." Times Literary  Supplement (Oct. 17, 194-2), pp. 511-^3* 146 E l l i o t t , G. R. "The Arnoldian Lyric Melancholy," Pub- lications of the Modern Language Association of America. XXXVIII, No. 4 (December, 1923), 929-932. Hollovray, John. "Early Epic and Modern Poetry," The  Listener. L (July 2, 1953), 25-27. Houghton, R. E. C. "Letter of Matthew Arnold." Times  Literary Supplement (May 19, 1932), p. 368, "Matthew Arnold's Poetry," Temple Bar. LXXXIV (September, 1888), 106-110. "Poems by Matthew Arnold," Fraser's Magazine. XLIX (February, 1*B54), 140T149T "Poems of Matthew Arnold," Spectator, i n Living Age. CLXVT (Aug. 22, 1885), 503-506. Priestley, F. E. L. "Tennyson's Idylls." University of . Toronto Quarterly. XIX (October, 1949), 35-49. Rumble, Thomas C. "The Middle English Sir Tristrem: Towards a Reappraisal," Comparative Literature, XI, No. 3 (Summer, 1959), 221-228. watts(-Dunton), T. "Review of Tristram of Lyonesse and  other poems by Algernon Charles Swinburne," Athenaeum (July 22, 1882), pp. 103-105. Woodberry, G. E. "Poetry of Matthew Arnold," Nation, XXVII (Oct. 31, 1878), 274-275. 


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