Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Avalon: Isle of Mystery Essays -- Island Avalon Essays
Avalon: Isle of Mystery The island of Avalon has been shrouded in mystery throughout the history of the Arthurian legend. Named Ynyswytryn, meaning "the glassy isle", it was famous as the Celtic paradise "The Happy Island of the Blest" (Webb 11). In the earliest religion it was believed that the souls of the dead were borne westward to "Ã¢â¬ ¦an Island in the Western Sea, to the abode of Glast and AvallacÃ¢â¬ ¦.Thus in later times was Arthur to be borne to the 'Island Valley of Avillion' " (Webb 11). The island supposedly held a mystic cauldron of Regeneration into which dead are dipped to spring out into a new life (Webb 12). In the Life of Gildas written by Caradoc of Llancarvan, Arthur comes to Glastonbury, and the writer tells us that the "City of Glass" derives its name from the British Yniswitrin, yet gives no hint that it was identical with Avalon (Robinson 7). "The Spoils of Annwn" also mentions the island, saying that after the battle of Camlan, Taliesin brings the wounded Arthur to Insula Pomorum, which is an attempt to translate the Welsh Ynys Avallach, and leaves Arthur there under the care of Morgen (Loomis, Roger Wales 154). Morgen was the chief of nine maidens on the island and was skilled in the arts of healing; the 4th line, 2nd stanza says that "By the breath of nine maidens it [the cauldron] was kindled" (Loomis, Roger Wales 154). A 12th century Welsh tradition derived the name of the island of Avalon from Avallach, the father of Morgain; from this, the Arthur legend acquired the name as well as the ministrations of Morgain le FÃ ©e (Loomis, Roger Wales 72). William of Malmesbury, writing around 1125, also attributes the name to "a certain Avalloc, who is said to have lived there with his daughters because of the s... ...6. Loomis, Richard M. "Arthur in Geoffrey of Monmouth." The Romance of Arthur. Ed. James J. Wilhelm. New York: Garland, 1994. Loomis, Roger Sherman. Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance. New York: Columbia UP, 1926. Wales and the Arthurian Legend. Cardiff: U of Wales P, 1956. Parry, Joseph D. "Following Malory out of Arthur's World." Modern Philology. 95.2 (1997): 147. Reid, Margaret J. C. The Arthurian Legend: Comparison of Treatment in Modern and Midiaeval Literature. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1938. Robinson, J. Armitage. Two Glastonbury Legends: King Arthur & St. Joseph of Arimathea. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1926. Webb, Albert E. Glastonbury: Ynyswytryn; Isle of Avalon. Glastonbury: Avalon,1929. Wilhelm, James J. "Arthur in the Latin Chronicles." The Romance of Arthur. Ed. James J. Wilhelm. New York: Garland, 1994.