Key words£ºKing Arthur, Guenevere,  Lancelot,  rescue  
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Genre£ºlegend Topic£ºLancelot Words: 980
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ESL,  English,  Story,  Tale,  Legend, Folktale, Myth, Fable, Learning, Teaching

"No," screamed Guenevere. "My lord, ...
I beg you if you love me,
please punish me and let Lancelot be free."

Lancelot and Guenevere 

-Told by Sir Roland
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Author£ºShaun Flewellen Source£ºstudents.ou.edu  
Nation£ºEngland Date£º2008-9-7


(Guenevere and Lancelot,
artist unknown)
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As I had told you before, Guenevere had become quite taken with caring for Lancelot. This was something that troubled Sir Tristram and me. We did not fully understand the magnitude of this coincidence until a year later.

Things had gotten back to normal in Camelot, and all seemed well. One night around midnight Sir Tristram and I were walking back to my home after a few drinks at the pub and we saw what we thought was Lancelot riding into the forest. We yelled for him, "Lancelot, Lancelot is that you? Come here friend." But he did not respond to us, instead he rode with haste into the forest. This was most peculiar to Tristram and me, but we just continued on our way.

The next morning I could not stop thinking about how odd it had been to see Lancelot, the man that I had grown to love for years, ride off as if we did not exist. I decided on that night I would go to the place in which I saw him and see what he was up to. I begged Tristram to come with me, and finally he conceded to my pleas.

Tristram and I waited, hidden in shadows, for almost an hour. Finally we saw Lancelot riding towards us. We sat very silently and waited for him to pass us. When he did, we followed behind him very slowly and quietly. Finally Lancelot stopped at a small cabin. We could see that there was a candle lit on the inside and a fire was puffing smoke from the chimney. We glanced at one another blankly, as Lancelot knocked on the door in what appeared to be a code. "Knock...knock, knock...knock". The door opened and Lancelot walked into the cabin.

After several minutes of waiting, I finally worked up the courage to sneak towards the window. I sat there listening underneath the window for several minutes. I could hear two voices, one female, which I thought I recognized, and Lancelot's.

"Lancelot, you are my true knight. Many years I have loved you. Let us be rid of this place. Let us run away so that we can be happy."

At first I was surprised. I could not believe that Lancelot had finally found a woman, and I really couldn't believe that he did not tell us. Then I heard the words that would change my life.

"Very well, we shall leave on the coming evening! For I will follow you anywhere. I am yours to command, my sweet Queen. I will love you until I gasp my last breath, my sweet Guenevere."

I was startled when I heard this and I jumped up in shock.

"Who is there?" Lancelot shouted.

I ran as fast as I could towards Tristram and we ran our way back into town. I could barely get the worlds out of mouth when I told him what I had heard.

"We have to tell the King," Tristram said.

"But if it is true, he will have them both burned! Can we condemn our friends?"

"It is what they deserve for their betrayal, Roland! We must tell the King."

"Very well, we shall tell him in the morning."

The next morning Tristram and I told the King what we had seen the night before. His heart was broken. His Queen and his best knight had betrayed him.

"Tonight we shall catch them in the act, and they will suffer!"

That night we led the King and fifty knights to the cabin and where we had found Lancelot.

The King took his mighty boot and slammed the door into pieces. Many of the knights ran in, and behold. There on the bed lay Lancelot and Guenevere making love. Fifteen knights took Lancelot into the forest still completely naked.

"Make him suffer through the night," said Arthur.

"No," screamed Guenevere. "My lord, I am wrong for this deed. I beg you if you love me, please punish me and let Lancelot be free."

Arthur looked Guenevere in the eyes and said to her, "My love will die... with you."

Arthur was embarrassed and he was broken. He shamed Guenevere by forcing her to walk the way back into Camelot chained and still naked.

He had her tied to a pile of logs and placed her in the middle of the Camelot square for all to see.

"This is my own wife. She has betrayed me and every person of this country. Now watch as I show you the punishment for treason."

Arthur nodded his head to a man wearing all black. The man in black grabbed a jug of alcohol and dumped it onto the logs and Guenevere. He then took a stick and poured the remainder of the alcohol onto the stick. The man in black then lit the stick on fire and began walking towards Guenevere.

Her screams were too much for me to bear. I could not watch my Queen be burned alive. I looked up at Arthur and saw a single tear rolled down his eye. The man in black was right on top of Guenevere now. He lifted the stick and placed it right to the top of her hair. Then he fell to the ground dead! Shot through the neck by an arrow. King Arthur did not know that twelve of the knights he sent with Lancelot were loyal to Lancelot. They had slain the other knights and came to Guenevere's rescue. Three more arrows shot, and more knights fell. Lancelot jumped off of his horse and ran to Guenevere's aid. He threw a blanket around her and untied her. He stood up and through the fire Lancelot and Arthur stared at each other. I could see the hatred brewing in their eyes. Lancelot threw Guenevere on his horse and he and his knights rode off into the night.

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(The rescue of Guinevere,
artist unknown)

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Discussion£º

1. Who discovered Lancelot and Guenevere's affair? 

2. How would King Arthur punish Guenevere?

3. Who came to rescue Guenevere?

4. What is your opinion about the love between Lancelot and Guenevere?

5. If you were King Arthur, what would you do?

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