Thursday, October 13, 2011

Iseult with the White Hands

I just wanted to say that I thought that Iseult with the White Hands was evil. She listened in on Tristan's conversation telling his friend to go fetch Iseult the Fair for him. She was portrayed as conniving and vengeful, as many women were in literature (Medea). When Iseult the Fair and Tristan could be reunited once more for the last time, Iseult with the White Hands betrayed him and caused his death by telling him that Iseult the Fair had not come. I did not expect the story to play out this way, but it definitely was more interesting.

6 comments:

christine said...

So, I still cant post original comments so here i go again...okay so i found this painting online and i think it is the PERFECT illustration of the concept of courtly love.

http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/english/fajardo/teaching/eng340/tristan.htm

christine said...

Also to comment on Ravin's post, I dont know if she was necessarily "evil" but she was definitely jealous (i feel the same about Medea). She didnt seem like a malicious character, she just seemed like she wanted all of the attention back on herself.

alyb said...

I definitly think that Iseult with the White Hands was evil to a certain extent. She was evesdropping on Tristen's conversation with her brother about the real reason for his journey. From that moment it seemed like she was planning to sabatoge Tristen and Iseult the Fair's meeting, which in reality she did.

Shaina Lu said...

I think that Iseult of the White Hands was not evil. Certainly what she did was mean, but I think it was nothing compared to Medea who killed her children. Also you can't forget to consider Iseult's point of view. She must have been curious about Tristan's secrets given the conditions of her marriage.

sara pendleton said...

I have to agree with Shaina, I don't think she's evil. She couldn't have know the extent of Tristan and Iseult's relationship because frankly Tristan was an absant husband most of the time, he was in love with another woman, and never acknolodged White Hands or slept with her. WH probably loved Tristan, but really she was forced to marry him for political reasons and, being a woman as well as person in a "christain" nation, she could neighter devorice or remarry. She was put into a situation where she was going to be forever cursed with being unloved and she acted out because of that. I don't really think she was evil, maybe just sad because on his deathbed her absent husband called his mistress to his bedside and not WH, his wife. If she was angry about being supplanted by his mistress, I can understand. After Tristan's death she is a virgin widow with no children and will forever be rulled by her male family members and never remarry or hold the small amount of womanly power that being a married noblewoman seemed to hold back then (like running the castle while her husband was away.) She was probably raised to be a courtessan/mother in a male-dominated society but now she has been forefully removed from furfilling perhaps what she probably sees as a role of women in socity. I'm not saying gender roles are a good thing, but she's basically screwed. She's like Amaranta when the Italian rejects her except she has not choice but to live out her years as a maiden widow in solitude (because I think having kids gave women some small power in that period.) She's made out to be the evil stepsister but really she's just the victim of a soceity that made her dependant on a undependable husband.

mere said...

I don't know.... I kind of found her similar to the ditsy bride that Jason was going to marry in Medea. Maybe it's just the fact that they were both the second choice though...