By Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek
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209–11). 455–56). By doing so, he prepares readers for a relationship between King Arturus and his queen similar to that of the king’s parents. Although Geoffrey does not describe Arturus’s feelings for Ganhumara, this parallel encourages readers to assume that Arturus feels as passionately for her as Uther did for Igerna. 59 By associating Ganhumara with the height of British civilization and power, Geoffrey suggests that she inspires an unprecedented expansion of Britain’s holdings: Arturus’s victories by both conquest and voluntary surrender.
Geoffrey’s primary interest in political rather than ecclesiastical matters is evident in the prominent roles of nobles in these processions. Although the careful manner in which Geoffrey constructs these parallel processions is obvious, how readers should interpret the processions and the celebratory Masses that follow them is not. Some critics view Ganhumara’s procession as inferior to Arturus’s, but it actually provides not only a complement but also an alternative to Arturus’s power.
Rudel’s songs develop the theme of amor de lonh ‘love from afar’ through characters involved in what seem to be courtly love relationships. ”21 Even a vague reference to his regret at having lain in a bed “despollatz sotz cobertor [stripped under a cover]” makes it possible to interpret the speaker’s liaison with his lady as morally questionable, especially given the brother’s forbidding it. 23 The details within Geoffrey’s account of Uther’s reign reveal the king to be less than perfect, but a figure whose creation in the 1130s does not preclude his having noble and romantic dimensions to his character.