By: Olivia Spoon Research Question • Bradley’s retelling depicts how the issue of chivalry, masculinity, and the patriarchal system supported in Middle Ages Christianity influences the women of the Arthurian narrative (McClain, 197). Analysis Analysis • Mists of Avalon can be best understood as a feminist retelling of the Arthurian narrative that depicts the effects of the culture clash between patriarchal and matriarchal societies. • • • • • Arthur’s conception Arthur’s rise as King Formation of round table Lancelot/Gwenhwyfar Camelot’s fall • • • • • Igraine Viviane/Morgaine Morgaine Gwenhwyfar Morgaine Christianity • Domineering religion that requires belief in one God • Affirms patriarchal society • Marriage • Religious leaders • Worship Avalon (Celtic) • Open religion that affirms many gods • Affirms matriarchal society • Marriage • Religious leaders • Worship Critique of Christianity • Patricius (Camelot’s most powerful Christian priest) • His fundamentalism and misogyny forcefully removes the influence of Celtic tradition and abuses the female characters Critique of Celtic religion • Viviane (also called Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon) • Her loyalty to the Mother Goddess and Avalon causes her to use family without considering their feelings or emotional suffering • Bradley’s juxtaposition of matriarchal and patriarchal traditions calls for coexistence of both traditions, rather than the two warring against one another. Conclusion • Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Mists of Avalon. New York: The Ballatine Publishing Group, 1982. Print • Fry, Carrol L. “’What God Doth the Wizard Pray to:’ NeoPagan Witchcraft and Fantasy Fiction.” Extrapolation. 31.4. (1990): 334-347. Print. • Malory, Thomas. New York: W.W. Norton & Compant, 2003. Print. • McClain, Lee Tobin. “Gender Anxiety in Arthurian Romance.” Extrapolation. 38.3 (1997): 193-199. Print. • Saunders, Corinne. “Religion and magic” The Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend. Ed. Elizabeth Archibald and Ad Putter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 200. 201217. Print. • Tobin, Lee Ann. “Why Change the Arthur Story? Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.” Extrapolation. 34.2 (1993): 147157 Print.