We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Guinevere?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Guinevere is the legendary wife of King Arthur, who appears in almost all tales in the Arthurian canon, and whose character is interpreted in numerous ways depending upon each author. Due to the vast number of interpretations regarding Queen Guinevere, it’s hard to construct a single, simple story about her. She is usually depicted as the childless queen who commits adultery with Lancelot. Whether she is more sinned against than sinning for this act really depends upon how fully her character is drawn in each account.

In some accounts, Guinevere is daughter of King Leodegrance and in others she comes of Roman parentage. Many of the tales concerning her deal with an abduction story that occurs in most of the Arthurian legends. Again, it’s difficult to know exactly who abducts Guinevere, since this varies. Accounts of who saves her also change, where sometimes Lancelot or Arthur rescue her, and other times, peace is brokered between Arthur and the abductor. The abduction story does bear resemblance to the Persephone/Demeter Greek myth in which Hades kidnaps Persephone.

Another of the tales associated with Guinevere is the exposure of her adultery with Lancelot. Due to proof of her deception, Arthur sentences the queen to death. In almost all accounts, Lancelot then saves her, but kills the young knight Gareth in the act, causing his brothers Gawain and Agravaine to swear revenge on Lancelot. Alternately, the story doesn’t take place, but later, Guinevere becomes the mistress of Mordred, Arthur’s illegitimate son (or nephew depending upon the account).

The latter story sets up part of the tragedy of the King Arthur legends. When Mordred is Guinevere’s captor or forces her to become his mistress, Arthur attempts to rescue her, and is killed. This tragedy is doubly felt when Mordred is depicted as Arthur’s son, because in the end, Arthur destroys his child, himself and the wondrous days of Camelot in the process. In part or in whole, Guinevere’s actions contribute to the downfall of King Arthur’s just kingdom and destroy the dream of righteous and courtly behavior.

Modern accounts of Guinevere do much more to establish her character. In The Once and Future King by T.H. White, for instance, White depicts the queen as very human, with good impulses and bad. She is much younger than Arthur and helplessly caught in an affair with Lancelot that both characters try to avoid. Moreover, it’s very clear from White’s perspective that Arthur is fully aware of the affair, and because of his love for both the queen and Lancelot, begs the two to not do anything that will make the affair obvious to Arthur’s enemies (primarily Mordred).

White’s perspective is certainly a modern take, showing compassion for the foibles of humanity in general, and adding a much more balanced approach to how Arthur’s kingdom is ultimately destroyed. Guinevere’s actions are only part of it in this case. Arthur’s neglect and mistreatment of his illegitimate son and nephew Mordred are also cause for Mordred and Arthur’s eventual clash against each other.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Mar 01, 2014

Regardless of which interpretation of the Arthurian legends you get your mitts on, Guinevere is central to the fall and destruction of Camelot. In many ways, her role is similar to that of Eve in the Garden of Eden -- she was tempted, gave in to it and paradise was lost. Here's another parallel -- the interpretation of Guinevere's actions. She, like Eve, is viewed by some as the villain, some as a victim and some as a person who simply could not resist her more human urges.

Fascinating, huh?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.