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Layamon

  • Date Submitted: 03/07/2012 08:18 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.5 
  • Words: 361
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Natalie Velasquez
Journal 4
2-20-12
“Then a golden lioness came gliding over the downs, As really lovely a beast as any Our Lord has made. The Lioness ran up to me and put her jaws around my waist, And off she set, moving towards the sea”
- (lines 14007-14010) Brut by Layamon
The main reason I picked this passage from Brut was because I was intrigued at the fact that a lioness appeared. I really don’t understand why a lioness would appear. Does it have anything to do with the culture at the time period or their God or Gods? When I read this line I really thought of the Lion from Narnia. He had great power and was essentially the ruler of the lands and had all in control of his power, both physical and mystical and because of this he was ruler of the land. All hailed this mighty lion who could possess the power to begin or end life and perhaps this lioness was in the same? However, although I feel that the lioness in the passage does hold some of the same meaning I also feel that it doesn’t. Arthur comments on how it was “as really lovely a beast as any” he still comments that “[their] Lord” had made her, or at least suggests it so she is not the main ruling power, but maybe she is still of some power. Also why does the lioness take him to the sea? I know that in the times of Beowulf they would often send the body of a fallen on their way in boat on the sea, so is that the same reason that Arthur is taken into the sea, after all, he is falling to his demise in his dream, slowly dying. Or perhaps their Lord was of the sea, like King Neptune, and the lioness was a hand of Neptune to take Arthur to rest with the God. There is so much speculation for me behind this simple passage that the meanings of both the lioness and sea could expand to so many different meanings that it just intrigues me.

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