Myth maker, unicorn maker: C.S. Lewis and the reshaping of medieval thought.In The Achievement of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Howard Thomas Howard may refer to several people, including: Nobles
Of, characteristic of, or containing allegory: an allegorical painting of Victory leading an army. . He explains that instead of chasing "symbols up and down the landscapes of Narnia [...] [i]t is much better to read these tales for what they are, namely fairy tales This is a list of fairy tales, the dates of their earliest known printed version, the author and, if known, the collection of tales in which it was published. It should be noted, however, that not all stories listed below would be categorized as fairy tales by a strict definition . We blunder sadly if we try to read them as anything else--as cryptograms or anagrams an·a·gram
1. A word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain.
2. anagrams (used with a sing. or acrostics for Christian theology Noun 1. Christian theology - the teachings of Christian churches
free grace, grace of God, grace - (Christian theology) the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God; "God's grace is manifested in the salvation of sinners"; "there but for the grace of God go and morals" (26). While Howard delivers a valid point to evangelicals who are prone to reading Christian symbolism Christian symbolism is the use of actions or objects to represent the central concepts of the Christian faith, either as a reminder of those concepts or as a way of spiritually connecting with the underlying concept or act. into almost any unsuspecting text, his generalization overlooks the influence of allegory in Lewis's work and steers readers away from the rich medieval context within which Lewis often chose to work.
C.S. Lewis was more than a medieval scholar. He was something of a medievalist me·di·e·val·ist also me·di·ae·val·ist
1. A specialist in the study of the Middle Ages.
2. A connoisseur of medieval culture.
1. at heart. This is particularly evident in the epilogue of The Discarded Image where Lewis states: "I have made no serious effort to hide the fact that the old [medieval and Renaissance] Model delights me as I believe it delighted our ancestors Our Ancestors (Italian: I Nostri Antenati) is the name of Italo Calvino's "heraldic trilogy" that comprises The Cloven Viscount (1952), The Baron in the Trees (1957), and The Nonexistent Knight (1959). " (216). It is not surprising, then, that Lewis writes much like a medievalist. In the tradition of theologians and artists of the Middle Ages who Christianized pagan symbols into biblical narrative, so too, Lewis reenacts this imaginative-theological process by reshaping medieval thought into his fiction and poetry. Although Lewis is by no means offering a full replication of these earlier paradigms, his work remains heavily dependent upon images and structural patterns found in medieval allegory. Like a medieval compiler, Lewis gathers and grafts these images into a new state of being, reshaping pagan signs and medieval lore into an imaginative and highly accessible Christian context. While numerous examples of this process may be discussed, this article focuses on Lewis's portrayal of the medieval unicorn. In works such as "The Late Passenger" and The Last Battle, Lewis's unicorn is far more than a horned horned
Having a horn, horns, or a hornlike growth.
Adj. 1. horned - having a horn or horns or hornlike parts or horns of a particular kind; "horned viper"; "great horned owl"; "the unicorn--a mythical horned beast"; beast of the imagination; it is also a theological sign of divinity created to conjure a sense of longing that pulls readers "further up and further in[to]" a biblical story that has no end (The Last Battle 206).
Before taking a discussion of Lewis's unicorns further, it is helpful to synthesize medieval interpretations of the creature, particularly ways in which the animal was read theologically. Although scholars suspect unicorn legends were known throughout the West at least four centuries before the birth of Christ, it was the anonymous scribe-compilers of Physiologus who "infused these venerable pagan tales with the spirit of Christian moral and mystical teaching" (ix). (1) Many of the tales in Physiologus were widely circulated throughout the Middle Ages and became culturally embedded into scripture. In the case of the unicorn, the creature became read as a type of Christ while still retaining previous marks of pagan lore. (2) According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Physiologus, the unicorn is an allegorical mirror of Christ, an animal "totally set apart" in the medieval bestiary bestiary (bĕs`chēĕr'ē), a type of medieval book that was widely popular, particularly from the 12th to 14th cent. The bestiary presumed to describe the animals of the world and to show what human traits they severally exemplify. (Callois 3). As legend has it, the unicorn was given one horn because "[I / the unicorn] and the Father are one" (John 10:30). Echoing Romans 8:38, Physiologus also affirms that, like Christ, the unicorn is fierce and shrewd, "since neither principalities, powers, thrones, nor dominations can comprehend him, nor can hold him" (51). In many ways, Physiologus functioned as a popularized extension of church doctrine, as church fathers also used the unicorn to appeal to the divinity of Christ. For instance, in Contra Judaeos, Tertullian provides a commentary on the unicorn and suggests that the animal's horn is a constant reminder of the atonement atonement, the reconciliation, or "at-one-ment," of sinful humanity with God. In Judaism both the Bible and rabbinical thought reflect the belief that God's chosen people must be pure to remain in communion with God. , as it represents the upright beam of the Holy Cross pointing towards heaven (Shepard 282). Saint Ambrose writes that the unicorn is "the only-begotten Son of God." In a similar pattern, Saint Basil suggests that "The unconquerable nature of God is likened to that of a unicorn" (Shepard 81).
Translations of Physiologus differ in their description of the unicorn, but all versions "agree on the essential significance of the unicorn story for the people of the Christian faith. The unicorn is Christ" (Freeman 21). The unicorn's horn unites him with the father and establishes him as a fierce warrior who cannot be captured by the powers of man or weapons. As tradition suggests, his holy tenacity may only be harnessed through his obedience to a virgin. Teresa Noelle Roberts states, "As the proudest and most aloof of beasts was tamed by a virgin, God Himself became the little child of the Virgin" (39). Once tamed, the unicorn is killed by awaiting hunters, only to be mystically resurrected, still bearing the marks of his wounds. In The Discarded Image Lewis actually summarizes these popularized interpretations of the unicorn, as he explains how the creature was theologically bound to the person of Christ:
[T]he unicorn is a beast too strong for any hunter to take; but if you set a virgin before him he loses all his ferocity, lays down his head in her lap, and sleeps. Then we can kill him. It is hard to believe that any Christian can think for long about this exquisite myth without seeing in it an allegory of the Incarnation and Crucifixion. (149-150)
With the divinity of the unicorn established and validated through the church fathers and the teaching of Physiologus, the myth reaches its peak in the late Middle Ages, but extends toward the present. As Callois states, "At the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century, and then during the Renaissance and up to the dawning of the nineteenth century, the unicorn was a favorite theme for sculpture and tapestry in the Christian world" (2). In the case of C.S. Lewis, the unicorn remained a favorite well into the twentieth century.
When Owen Barfield Owen Barfield (November 9, 1898 – December 14, 1997) was a British philosopher, author, poet, and critic.
Barfield was born in London. He was educated at Highgate School and Wadham College, Oxford and in 1920 received a 1st class degree in English language and met C.S. Lewis in the early 1920's, he remembers that Lewis possessed a "ruling ambition to become a great poet [...] if you thought of Lewis, you automatically thought of poetry" (5). Most scholars still overlook Lewis's poetry; however, even a brief examination reveals his keen ability to reshape pagan myths by pressing them into a Christianized context. (3) "The Late Passenger" illustrates this imaginative ingenuity, as Lewis uses the image of the unicorn to explore the depth of biblical narrative. (4) Don W. King suggests that "The Late Passenger" is particularly unusual, for it is one of Lewis's few poems that is explicitly tied to biblical narrative (215). However, on a first reading much of this is missed, for Lewis diverts readers' attention through moments of absurdity and humor. Moving forward, we are met with an unexpected conclusion that evokes a deep sense of longing. The result is a jolt to the physical-spiritual system.
"The Late Passenger" opens with the rains of the flood approaching. Despite the "falling dense and dark" horizon, Lewis conjures a comic atmosphere, as readers witness a retelling re·tell·ing
A new account or an adaptation of a story: a retelling of a Roman myth. of the flood that includes the bumbling bum·ble 1
v. bum·bled, bum·bling, bum·bles
1. To speak in a faltering manner.
2. To move, act, or proceed clumsily. See Synonyms at blunder.
v.tr. of Noah and his sons, exposing their impatience, deception, and flat out crankiness crank·y 1
adj. crank·i·er, crank·i·est
1. Having a bad disposition; peevish.
2. Having eccentric ways; odd.
3. (1). In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of a divine plan, there is a human blunder that is typical of Genesis narratives. The ark cannot set sail, for humanity has botched botch
tr.v. botched, botch·ing, botch·es
1. To ruin through clumsiness.
2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.
3. To repair or mend clumsily.
1. the instructions given by God. Lewis sets the scene with Japheth, the son who takes roll for the disembarking ark. It is assumed that all "the beasts were in," but to Japheth's surprise, another stranger arrives a bit late (3). In an echo reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," Japheth announces, "I see one creature more / Belated and unmated there come knocking at the door" (3-4).
The knocking continues with violent persistence, eliciting a series of allegorical responses from Noah and his sons. Something must be done with the unicorn; something must be done with Christ. Japheth remains indifferent. He recognizes a creature is at the door, yet fails to genuinely "see" its divine identity (3). Ham rejects the animal and is content to "let him drown." In contrast to their ambivalence and belligerence bel·lig·er·ence
A hostile or warlike attitude, nature, or inclination; belligerency.
the act or quality of being belligerent or warlike
belligerence , Shem is sensitive to the beast. Despite being tormented by its "terrible knocking," Shem finds himself in a position of longing and possibility. Finally, there is Noah, the one who "walked with God" (Gen. 6:9). With such intimate knowledge of the sacred, Noah is the only figure able to recognize the divine nature of the unicorn. With the basics intact, these allegorical responses are worth pursing further. Ham, in accordance with biblical narrative, proves to be impatient and self-seeking, worthy of being cursed by his father. (5) Through this rejection, Lewis offers an allusion to scripture that proves to be both haunting and convicting. Ham is not only content to "let him drown," but ironically speaks the words of an innkeeper An individual who, as a regular business, provides accommodations for guests in exchange for reasonable compensation.
An inn is defined as a place where lodgings are made available to the public for a charge, such as a hotel, motel, hostel, or guest house. who would unknowingly reject the birth of the savior. Ham states, "We're overcrowded o·ver·crowd
v. o·ver·crowd·ed, o·ver·crowd·ing, o·ver·crowds
To cause to be excessively crowded: a system of consolidation that only overcrowded the classrooms. as it is; we've got no room for him" (6, compare with Luke 2:7). (6)
While Ham is content to let the creature perish in the waters of a rising chaos, Shem longs for something behind the "terrible" knocking. Through Shem's desire for the unicorn, Lewis makes two distinct allusions to medieval thought. In the 1948 version of the poem titled "The Sailing of the Ark," Shem states that the unicorn's "feet / Are hard as horns" (emph. added). In the later version, "The Late Passenger," Lewis tightens the allusion, making the "horn" singular-foreshadowing the late passenger's divine identity. The second allusion requires further investigation into medieval allegory. Medieval scholars suggest that theological readings of the unicorn became popularized not only through manuscripts and oral accounts, but through tapestries that allegorically depicted the passion of Christ Passion of Christ
See also Christ.
agony in the garden
Christ confronts His imminent death. [N.T.: Matthew 26:36–45; Mark 14:32–41]
its crowing reminded Peter of his betrayal. [N.T. . The most significant of these is The Unicorn Tapestries, a seven panel series that tells the "whole divine plan for the redemption of sinful man" (Freeman 25). The legends attached to The Unicorn Tapestries surface through Shem's desire in "The Late Passenger." According to medieval lore, the capture of the unicorn requires the sensuous and seductive aroma of a virgin. As Malcolm South states:
Many people believed that some natural cause must be behind the capture. According to one explanation, the unicorn is attracted to the lady by a scent that only virgins are supposed to possess; and this scent--it was often described as "sweet"--helps charm the unicorn after he has come to the lady. (18)
Poets of the late Middle Ages began using appeals to virginal virginal, musical instrument: see spinet.
Small rectangular harpsichord with a single set of strings and a single manual. The derivation of its name is uncertain. scent in courtly love courtly love, philosophy of love and code of lovemaking that flourished in France and England during the Middle Ages. Although its origins are obscure, it probably derived from the works of Ovid, various Middle Eastern ideas popular at the time, and the songs of the poetry as well. For example, in the thirteenth century, Richard de Fournival Richard de Fournival (c. 1190-1260) was a Medieval philosopher and trouvère perhaps best known for "The Bestiary of Love." Web source
1. ^ Purdue University Press wrote a Bestiaire d' Amour that was addressed to his "beautiful very sweet beloved." In the chapter on the unicorn he tells his lover: "I have been drawn to you by your sweet odor ... as the unicorn falls asleep under the influences of a maiden's fragrance" (emph. added, Freeman 30). In a similar way, Lewis grafts fragments of these medieval legends into Shem's longing for the beast. Despite the terrible knocking, Shem states that "oh the air that comes from it is sweet" (8, emph. added). In this case, Lewis uses "sweet" in the tradition of the courtly love poem and The Unicorn Tapestries. Shem is seduced by the lover of his soul, smelling the sweet aroma of his beloved who knocks at the door of his ark-like heart.
As the poem continues, Ham attempts to silence his brother's longings, fearful that their sleeping father will awaken and put them to work. Noah stirs. However, his awakening has nothing to do with noise from his clamoring sons. Intuitively, Noah jumps from sleep, keenly aware of the unicorn's presence. Like one of the harnessed animals in the bowels of the ark, Noah's voice comes "roaring from the darkness down below," demanding that his sons "Take it in before we go" (11) (7) Ham attempts to dismiss the noise, but Noah recognizes the sacred presence and states: "I hear a noise that's like a horse's hoof hoof, horny epidermal casing at the end of the digits of an ungulate (hoofed) mammal. In the even-toed ungulates, such as swine, deer, and cattle, the hoof is cloven; in the odd-toed ungulates, such as the horse and the rhinoceros, it is solid. " (15). He seeks to confirm the beast's identity by looking out a window. What he sees causes his face to turn "grey." The unicorn fades into the distance, while Noah frantically tears at his beard and speaks the tragedy of humanity's dilemma: "It would not wait. It turns away. It takes its flight. [...] [T]he Ark must sail without the Unicorn" (19, 32).
At this point, Lewis inserts an additional couplet couplet
Two successive lines of verse. A couplet is marked usually by rhythmic correspondence, rhyme, or the inclusion of a self-contained utterance. Couplets may be independent poems, but they usually function as parts of other verse forms, such as the Shakespearean sonnet, not present in the 1948 version. In the revised version Revised Version
A British and American revision of the King James Version of the Bible, completed in 1885.
Noun , Noah makes a statement which emphasizes the providential prov·i·den·tial
1. Of or resulting from divine providence.
2. Happening as if through divine intervention; opportune. See Synonyms at happy. plan of God juxtaposed jux·ta·pose
tr.v. jux·ta·posed, jux·ta·pos·ing, jux·ta·pos·es
To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. against the finite limitations of man. Noah states, "Even if I could outrun out·run
tr.v. out·ran , out·run, out·run·ning, out·runs
a. To run faster than.
b. To escape from: outrun one's creditors.
2. it now, it would not turn again /--Not now. Our great discourtesy has earned its high disdain" (21-22). In repentance, Noah offers a prayer to the unicorn, but he is fearful the beast will not find a "stable" or "manger" on such a stormy night. He praises the "golden hoofs" and "lovely pride" of the beast, yet somehow knows the unicorn will not return for many years. As the one remaining righteous man, Noah understands the punishment for collective rejection and echoes the curse of Eden to his sons: "Oh long shall be the furrows ploughed across the hearts of men" (27). Then, in an imaginative move that straddles the entire Old Testament, Lewis pulls the curse forward, reconciling humanity through the Annunciation Annunciation
dove and lily
pictured with Virgin and Gabriel. [Christian Iconography: Brewer Dictionary, 645]
Mary’s old cousin; bears John the Baptist. [N.T. of Christ, the One who will come to "stable" and "manger once again" (27-28).
In the closing lines of "The Last Passenger," Lewis calls upon medieval lore once more, linking an image of life-giving fertility to the presence of the unicorn. Longing for fecundity fecundity /fe·cun·di·ty/ (fe-kun´dit-e)
1. in demography, the physiological ability to reproduce, as opposed to fertility.
2. ability to produce offspring rapidly and in large numbers. in the midst of an encroaching watery death, Noah professes that all humanity will walk a "dark and crooked" path, resulting in a "shrivelled shriv·el
intr. & tr.v. shriv·eled or shriv·elled, shriv·el·ing or shriv·el·ling, shriv·els
1. To become or make shrunken and wrinkled, often by drying: [...] manhood like a flower with a broken stalk" (29-30). In the seventh portrait of The Unicorn Tapestries, the unicorn is portrayed as being resurrected, "stabled" and tied to a pomegranate pomegranate (pŏm`grănĭt, pŏm`ə–), handsome deciduous and somewhat thorny large shrub or small tree (Punica granatum tree. In this image, the pomegranate, a symbol that frequently appears in descriptions of God's temple, functions as an Edenic sign of both immortality and fertility. As Freeman states:
The unicorn here may be interpreted as the risen Christ in a paradise garden. [...] However, since the unicorn is fenced, collared, and chained to a tree, he appears to be more significantly an image of the lover-bridegroom entrapped by his beloved lady, his bride, and the pomegranates, as symbols of fertility, probably express the hope of a married pair for many children. This tapestry, more than the others, appears to signify earthly love and marriage and the desire for progeny. (143)
By reshaping this medieval legend, Lewis uses the image of the broken stalk to emphasize the squelched squelch
v. squelched, squelch·ing, squelch·es
1. To crush by or as if by trampling; squash.
2. possibilities of fertility and life that have been lost through the departure of the unicorn. Perhaps Lewis had this in mind when he revised the poem from its first edition. In "The Sailing of the Ark" Lewis states that Noah's face "grew white" when he saw the unicorn leaving. The later version indicates that Lewis changed the adjective from "white" to "grey," offering connotations of age and degeneration of the body, rather than life-giving fertility--the presence that has fled the ark.
The overall effect of "The Late Passenger" is stunning, as readers are confronted with a longing for something lost. When Noah curses Ham on behalf of the entire world, readers participate in a collective remorse, for "all" of humanity is guilty of rejecting the unicorn-Christ (20). The implications become weighty, as a once comic poem transforms into the weight of longing. Although the unicorn takes "flight," the beast remains unmated, isolated, and wingless, destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be exterminated by the rising flood. Collective rejection has caused innocent death. However, there is the suggestion that Noah somehow knows the end of a larger story, the point where myth fuses with reality. In this sense, death will not defeat the unicorn-Christ, but will be conquered in the moment of "eucatastophe," the good turn that will summon "a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears" (Tolkien 69). The unicorn, once swallowed by the de-creating seas of chaos, will surface again to "stable" among us. As Revelation suggests, the sacred presence will continue to knock on Noun 1. knock on - (rugby) knocking the ball forward while trying to catch it (a foul)
rugby, rugby football, rugger - a form of football played with an oval ball
rugby, rugby football, rugger - a form of football played with an oval ball doors of ark-like hearts: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock!" (Rev. 3:20).
Ultimately, "The Late Passenger" creates a longing for reconciliation, as readers desire the sacred presence of a fantastic and truly unique being. For those who seek union with the ineffable, the unicorn pulls them forward, deeper into the infinite heart of a God of whom they have only caught glimpses. In this way, the fleeing unicorn represents a sign, an image or being that draws us "further up and further in[to]" the garden-paradise of the New Jerusalem New Jerusalem
new paradise; dwelling of God among men. [N.T.: Revelation 21:2]
See : Heaven (The Last Battle [LB] 206). In The Problem of Pain Lewis explains how such signs draw us deeper into a sacred reality:
All things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of [desire for God]--tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest--if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself--you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.' (146)
Appropriately it is Jewel, the loyal unicorn in The Last Battle, who echoes Lewis's words to those who enter the New World on the other side of Narnia. Treading on this new ground of realized possibility, Jewel states, "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. all my life, though I never knew it till now" (LB 213). A few scholars recognize divine qualities in the actions and words of Jewel. As Paul F. Ford states, "The Narnia of [The Last Battle] is notable for the absence of Aslan. In some ways, Jewel takes over one of Aslan's roles in the other books: keeping the travelers on the right path" (172). However, Jewel is not without sin; his passionate loyalty to both Aslan and Tirian cause him to murder a Calormene. For this reason, Ford suspects that Jewel "may mirror Aslan in much the same way as, in Christian angelology an·gel·ol·o·gy
The branch of theology having to do with angels.
1. Theology. the doctrine or theory concerning angels.
2. the beliefs concerning angels. , Michael is 'one like God'" (172). While Ford's speculations are thought provoking, it is also worth considering how Lewis uses medieval thought in order to present Jewel as the defender of Narnia's historical narrative.
Jewel is fierce, both in battle and in the pursuit of truth. In medieval culture, the most concrete portrayal of the warring unicorn is found in The Unicorn Tapestries. When spied spied
Past tense and past participle of spy. by the spear-carrying hunters, the unicorn's speed and tenacity forces the men to remain distant. The hunting dogs are sent to subdue sub·due
tr.v. sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues
1. To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat.
2. To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable.
3. the creature, but the unicorn rears back and gores the animals that seek to restrain him. Lewis incorporates this aspect of the unicorn's reputation by explaining that "no man, except with arrows or a long spear, can match a Unicorn, for it rears on its hind legs as it falls upon you and then you have its hoofs and its horn and its teeth to deal with all at once" (LB 143). And, as the medieval unicorn proves faithful to the beloved virgin who captures him, Jewel is bound to Tirian for "they loved each other like brothers and each had saved the other's life in the wars" (LB 16).
Jewel guards the stories of Narnia with the same vigilance. Apart from Aslan, Jewel's loyalty to Narnian history makes him the most reliable source for truth that the children encounter. When others grow suspicious of Aslan's motives, Jewel reminds Tirian of "the old stories," and that Asian "is not a tame lion" (LB 19). In this context, Jewel is a fierce guide, preserving the physical welfare of the children as well as the sacred-storied past. As a source of collective memory, Jewel takes time to recount the entire history of Narnia, noting that this place was established for peace, until evil entered through the power of the White Witch For other uses, see White Witch (disambiguation).
White witch, or good witch, are qualifying terms in English used to distinguish those helpful witches who do not use magic to harm others from normal witches. . By telling characters like Jill of the "old Queens Old Queens is the oldest building at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey (USA) and the seat of the university's administration. Designed by noted architect John McComb, Jr. and heroes whom she had never heard of," Jewel provides such children access to a larger history that is framed within Narnia's epic past (LB 109-110).
Jewel's intuitive gift of discernment is bound to medieval thought as well. As legend suggests, "The unicorn had the gift of detecting whatever had been altered, was impure im·pure
adj. im·pur·er, im·pur·est
1. Not pure or clean; contaminated.
2. Not purified by religious rite; unclean.
3. Immoral or sinful: impure thoughts. , defiled de·file 1
tr.v. de·filed, de·fil·ing, de·files
1. To make filthy or dirty; pollute: defile a river with sewage.
2. or harmful" (Callois 8). Jewel puts this gift to use when Emeth enters the death sentence of the stable. At this moment, Jewel senses the true nature of Emeth's heart and swears "by the Lion's Mane" Emeth "is worthy of a better god than Tash TASH The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps " (LB 141). As Jewel is learned in the ways of Aslan, he perceives the consequences of good and evil. He knows what will come to pass: Emeth may profess to serve Tash, yet his affections align with Aslan--the holy ideal. Jewel's premonition is fulfilled when the children encounter Emeth on the other side of the stable. While even the dogs appear shocked and eager to hear Emeth's story, Jewel is the only member of the crowd who remains unsurprised. As Lewis explains, the children gathered and sat with Emeth, while the dogs sat "bolt upright, panting panting
rapid, shallow breathing, a characteristic heat-losing reaction in dogs; represents an increase in dead-space ventilation resulting in heat loss without necessarily increasing oxygen uptake or carbon dioxide loss. , with their tongues hanging out of their heads a little on one side, to hear the story. But Jewel remained standing, polishing his horn against his side" (LB 200).
As a protective guide to the new world, Jewel leads the faithful "further up and further in[to]" the infinite depths of Aslan's awaiting home. (8) Before the children enter the stable, fearful of its murderous reputation, Jewel's discerning voice speaks the truth plainly: "[The stable] may be for us the door to Aslan's country Aslan's Country is a fictional location from C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series. It is the home of Aslan, the great lion. It is described as a series of mountains, thousands of feet high, but without snow or ice. and we shall sup at his table tonight" (LB 161). At the threshold At the Threshold, whose son Lil E. Tee won the 1992 Kentucky Derby for W. Cal Partee, died March 23 of a stroke at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Ind. The 21-year-old stallion stood at Wayne Houston's Stoney Creek Horse Farm near Mooreland, Ind. of this paradise-banquet, Jewel reenacts a final fracture of medieval lore. Physiologus indicates that the discerning unicorn was gifted with the ability to seek out and purify water that was poisoned due to a wandering serpent. The unicorn was believed to seek this water out at dawn. As portrayed in the second scene of The Unicorn Tapestries, the unicorn would dip its horn into the water, purifying the stain of the night traveling serpent. Margaret Freeman summarizes the theological implications of the allegory, stating that "The serpent is the devil, who brought the poison of sin into the world, and the unicorn, of course, is Christ, who redeemed the world from sin by the power of his horn, 'the horn of salvation'" (Freeman 27). (9)
Jewel's horn leads the followers to a pool at the base of the waterfall. Lewis states that as they climbed the rocks and the falls, "the point of [Jewel's] horn divided the water just above his head, and it cascaded out in two rainbow-colored streams all around his shoulders" (LB 217). Although these waters are pure with the "delicious foam of coolness," Lewis reshapes this medieval legend by reframing reframing (rē·frāˑ·ming),
n the revisiting and reconstruction of a patient's view of an experience to imbue it with a different usually more positive meaning in the the myth into the fulfillment of biblical covenant. Jewel leads Aslan's faithful through their final Exodus, parting the waters with his horn. As the waters divide on each side, a covenantal is revealed; rainbows gather on each side of the beast's shoulders, signifying the fulfillment of God's eternal covenant with creation and his people. Behind this horn of salvation, the children are guided into a fantastic promised land, pulled deeper into a Great Story "which goes on forever" and where "every chapter is better than the one before" (LB 228). It is a place where imagination runs wild.
Paul Ricoeur Paul Ricœur (February 27, 1913 Valence France – May 20, 2005 Chatenay Malabry France) was a French philosopher best known for combining phenomenological description with hermeneutic interpretation. makes the suggestion that through the imagination "new realities become open to us and old worlds are made new" (135). C.S. Lewis's reshaping of medieval thought illustrates the possibilities lurking in Ricoeur's statement. Lewis's treatment of the unicorn opens new possibilities for the imagination, as, like a medievalist, he reshapes medieval lore into the Great Story of truth. And, as we know, Lewis was not opposed to placing himself in such imaginative stories. In The Great Divorce we find him tangled in a dream-like herd of unicorns. He explains that with their approach "the earth seemed to shake: the whole wood trembled and dindled at the sound" of thrashing hoofs. Before he could find safety "A herd of unicorns came thundering through the glades Glades may refer to:
Barfield, Owen. Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis. G.B. Tennyson, ed. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan UP, 1989.
Caillois, Roger. "The Myth of the Unicorn." R. Scott Walker Scott Walker can refer to more than one person:
Ford, Paul F. Companion to Narnia. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Harper and Row, 1980.
Freeman, Margaret B. The Unicorn Tapestries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976.
Howard, Thomas. The Achievement of C.S. Lewis. Wheaton, Ill.: Shaw Publishing, 1980.
King, Don W. C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of his Poetic Impulse. Kent, Ohio Kent is a city in Portage County, Ohio, United States. The population was 27,906 at the 2000 census, making it the county's largest city. Kent is home to the main campus of Kent State University. Nearby metropolitan areas include Akron, Cleveland, Canton, and Youngstown-Warren. : Kent State UP, 2001.
Lewis, C.S. The Discarded Image. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1967.
___. The Great Divorce. New York: Macmillan, 1946.
___. The Last Battle. 1956. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.
___. "The Sailing of the Ark." Punch 215 (11 Aug 1948): 124. (published under the pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). Nat Whilk)
___. Poems. Walter Hooper Walter McGehee Hooper (born 1931) is a trustee and literary advisor of the estate of C.S. Lewis. Born in Reidsville, North Carolina, he earned an M.A. in education and was an instructor in English at the University of Kentucky in the early 1960s. , ed. 1964. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1977.
___. The Problem of Pain. New York: Macmillan, 1962.
Physiologus. Michael J. Curley, trans. Austin: U of Texas P, 1979.
Ricoeur, Paul. "The Function of Fiction in Shaping Reality." A Ricoeur Reader: Reflection and Imagination. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1991: 117-135.
Roberts, Teresa Noelle. "The Unicorn: Creature of Love." Mythlore 30 (Winter 1982): 39-41.
South, Malcolm. "Unicorns." Mythical and Fabulous Creatures: A Source Book and Reference Guide. Ed. Malcolm South. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987. 5-26.
Shepard, Odell. The Lore of the Unicorn. London: George Allen George Allen may refer to:
Tolkien, J.R.R. "On Fairy-Stories "On Fairy-Stories" is an essay by J. R. R. Tolkien which discusses the fairy-story as a literary form. It was initially written for presentation by Tolkien as the Andrew Lang lecture at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1939. ." The Tolkien Reader. New York: Ballantine, 1966. 3-84.
(1) It is estimated that the original Greek Physiologus was translated into Latin between the second and fourth centuries.
(2) Physiologus provides seven allusions to the unicorn as Christ: Deut. 33:17; John 10:30; Lk. 1:69; Ps. 22:21; Matt. 11:29; John 1:14; and Rom.8:38. In Mythical and Fabulous Creatures: A Source Book and Reference Guide, Malcolm South provides a historical-linguistic account of how the Hebrew word re'em was originally translated as "monocerous" in the Septuagint. In the Vulgate Vulgate (vŭl`gāt) [Lat. Vulgata editio=common edition], most ancient extant version of the whole Christian Bible. Its name derives from a 13th-century reference to it as the "editio vulgata. the word was rendered as "unicornis," eventually leading to eight references to unicorn in the King James Bible. As South states, "The inclusion of the unicorn in the Bible was sufficient proof to most Christians that he must exist, and helped give him important symbolic meaning" (13).
(3) Don W. King's, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse is the only comprehensive monograph concerning Lewis's poetry.
(4) C.S. Lewis's "The Late Passenger" appears in Poems, edited by Walter Hooper. The poem was originally titled "The Sailing of the Ark," and appeared in Punch in 1948. Lewis made significant revisions between these publications; some of these are noted throughout the article.
(5) Don W. King notes that Lewis's portrayal of Ham is consistent with the Genesis narrative. Lewis reshapes the events of the account, yet sill conforms to the tradition of Ham being cursed (215).
(6) This line also suggests that Lewis may have been reshaping Jewish Talmud teachings concerning the extinction of the unicorn due to lack of space. Roger Callois states: "According to the Talmud, the unicorn is [...] a colossal animal. It could not fit in the ark and escaped the Flood by being tied to the outside of the vessel" (4). However, since the unicorn of Lewis's poem flees to eventually "stable" and "manger" with us, it is clear that his primary concern is the doctrine of the incarnation.
(7) In the 1948 version, "The Sailing of the Ark," Lewis originally used the verb "Let" in place of "Take." The revision may suggest that Lewis desired a less passive approach to receiving Christ--one must "take" him, rather than "let" him in. Although both are volitional vo·li·tion
1. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision.
2. A conscious choice or decision.
3. The power or faculty of choosing; the will. terms, "take" implies a stronger sense of human agency.
(8) Pauline Baynes has emphasized the guide-like quality of Jewel. In her illustration of the animals passing the door of judgment, Jewel stands as the central, leading figure, guiding all Aslan's followers behind him (192).
(9) The second tapestry in The Unicorn Tapestries depicts the unicorn purifying the waters for animals outside the castle. Hunters then discover him and proceed to pursue him towards the virgin.