Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Grail and Symbols

I find it interesting, and kind of weird, that the in the excerpt about Perceval talks about phallic symbols. The sword and lance that is talked about in the excerpt are phallic symbols, as we discussed in class. They represents the male principle – whereas the female principle would be represented by the cup, the Grail itself. Because the Fisher King is injured, as he is in almost every other version of the story, the kingdom has become a wasteland and infertile...So it only makes sense that he needs to find the Grail to re-fertilize the kingdom and give him back life and rejuvenate him!


Cassidy George said...

It does "fit together nicely" (pardon my pun). I believe that the grail/lance phallic symbols are even further evidence of Frazer and Weston's ideas about the fundamental commonalities between world religions. Each is more or less based on the concept of life, death and rebirth; fertility being key in each of these processes. The Grail legend seems to have a connection with the vegetation cults Weston discusses. Fertility will bring new life and regeneration to both the Fisherking and Eliot's "wastelands".

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Tyler Dean said...

Yes I agree that it makes a lot of sense. The Fisher King tests Perceval because he needs to be good enough to fulfill the quest to ultimately find the grail and save the king. In order to be good enough for the quest, Perceval has to overcome his sense that asking questions is wrong. Also, I feel like either the lance that drips blood or the sword that Perceval receives could stand for the male end of the fertility complex. It also relates to the vegetation gods because if he finds the grail, the King Himself will get better and in turn the kingdom will prosper.