Reading Notes: Week 13, Welsh Fairy Book: Bala Lake, Part B

The story begins by vividly describing the setting which is a lake, and former patch of land, lying in a green and mountainous valley. When researching I found that Lake Bala is real and located in Gwynedd, Wales as one of the biggest bodies of water in the country. This is interesting, and I wonder if this story is told in modern-day tourist setting to appeal to the beauty and magnificence of this lake. This story is aimed at telling the origin of how the water emerged there and what was there before. A horrible and ruthless prince ruled the land around the valley. The author uses amazing metaphors describing the man as a "roaring lion" and a "ranging bear." From these words, one can infer this ruler was harsh, corrupt, and had wide and fast spreading capacity. Because it sounds like his term of power was not well-liked, it makes me wonder how he became the prince. I assume he received this title as a result of lineage, but if not, why did the people elect him? What kind of government and society did Penllyn (now Gwynedd) use?
The ruler had a sign of his fate when he heard a voice say the phrase used many times throughout the story: "Vengeance will come." When he saw the sign though, the prince was not phased and continued his rampage. The prince was given the opportunity to change. The prince threw a festival to celebrate the birth of his new son. I believe this event is used as the revolt because the birth of his son symbolizes many things. It represents the continuing of this prince's reign emphasizing if his son were to inherit the title, he might take after the same practices of his father. The bird repetitively whispers the ominous words "vengeance," over and over again to the harpist luring him away from the palace; these words are used the build suspense. After making it away, the harpist turns around and sees the lake filling in the valley. This represents the freeing of servants which is allowed after the end to the prince's reign.

Lake Bala in Wales, Visit Bala

Bibliography: W.J. Thomas, Welsh Fairy Book: Bala Lake (link)