The Lady of Shalott is a figure in Arthurian Legend.
Story goes she lived in a tower doomed to live a life trapped there, and forced to view the outside world through a mirror. If she looked on the real world, she’d die. Nobody knows why as far as I know, life’s just like that. In that it sucks.
Of course, one day Lancelot (who, although heroic in classical Arthurian legend is actually tainted for me in the best possible way by being such a douche in Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Trilogy - READ IT) rides past the tower and the Lady is so taken aback by this dude’s amazing hotness that she’s like oh fuck, fuck this mirror shit i gotta look upon that piece of ass now.
And she does.
Anyway, because she broke the rule of being a trapped damsel in a giant phallus, her mirrors crack and it’s aw fuck because she knows she’s going to die. So, like a badass, she gets into a boat, fucking carves her name into the hull and sets sail down the river so that the townspeople will find her and bury her instead of her body getting all bloated and sick up in her former tower.
I have a print of this hanging in my bedroom.
It’s special to me not only because I have a soft spot for Arthurian legend (thanks, Cornwell. Incidentally, Bernard also taught me most of Anglo/British/Scottish/Irish history), but because it pertains to psychological theoretical shit that I am constantly hard over, and sometimes jizzing everywhere about.
Towers = phallic symbols, the trauma of the real, the filters we must build for ourselves so we don’t go crazy, the constant psychological entrapment of everyone ever, how we free ourselves from that, meeting death being the ultimate “real”, the Freudian Death Drive; the list goes on for years.
There are several paintings of the Lady, and this one is my favourite. I’ve heard people say that she’s so passive and sad in this one, but it is my personal belief that she’s relieved. She’s post-action. She’s in a moment of reprieve and ready to finish what she started. She’s circumvented being trapped forever, and is sailing to the ultimate reality: death. Also, I’m really unconvinced that Lancelot was actually so fucking hot she couldn’t resist.
Lancelot makes a good scapegoat.
Anyway, look her up. The Lady of Shalott.
This was written up by my good friend Brianna, who just so happens to have an amazing brain and fresh writing skills. Throw in that it ALSO relates to Arthurian myth, and we’ve got a winner! Give it a read, BTG nation!