Perelandra

by

C. S. Lewis

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Perelandra can help.

Everything you need
for every book you read.

"Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized
and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."
Get LitCharts A+
  • Easy-to-use guides to literature, poetry, literary terms, and more
  • Super-helpful explanations and citation info for over 30,000 important quotes
  • Unrestricted access to all 50,000+ pages of our website and mobile app
Get LitCharts A+

The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril Character Analysis

The Green Lady is the first rational creature whom Ransom meets on Perelandra; she is the biblical Eve figure of that world. Though she looks just like a human being (with the exception of her green skin), she is actually a different species altogether. The Green Lady has a goddess-like beauty combined with a childlike delight in the world and a perfectly poised dignity. Because she is uncorrupted by sin, the Green Lady enjoys a perfectly harmonious relationship with Maleldil (God), whose will is her deepest delight, and she has effortless command over her own desires and emotions. She especially loves tending and teaching Perelandra’s creatures and swimming in the waves that Maleldil sends. The Green Lady describes growth in wisdom as “growing older.” After Weston arrives on Perelandra, he tempts the Green Lady to sin by suggesting that disobeying Maleldil’s commands (particularly the command not to dwell on the Fixed Land) will allow her to grow “older” still. Though the Green Lady ponders this possibility and even indulges in self-centered imaginings for the first time, she successfully resists Weston and never fully succumbs to temptation. Separated from her husband, the King, throughout most of the story, she reunites with him to reign in love and splendor at the end of the novel. After taking the throne, she is called Tinidril. She will become the mother of Perelandra’s children.

The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril Quotes in Perelandra

The Perelandra quotes below are all either spoken by The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril or refer to The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Perelandra published in 2003.
Chapter 5 Quotes

"And do you," said Ransom with some hesitation—"and do you know why He came thus to my world?"

All through this part of the conversation he found it difficult to look higher than her feet, so that her answer was merely a voice in the air above him. "Yes," said the voice. "I know the reason. But it is not the reason you know. There was more than one reason, and there is one I know and cannot tell to you, and another that you know and cannot tell to me."

Related Characters: Dr. Elwin Ransom (speaker), The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril (speaker), Lewis (speaker), Maleldil
Related Symbols: Waves
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

"I wonder," said the woman, "if you were sent here to teach us death."

"You don't understand," he said. "It is not like that. It is horrible. It has a foul smell. Maleldil Himself wept when He saw it." Both his voice and his facial expression were apparently something new to her. He saw the shock, not of horror, but of utter bewilderment, on her face for one instant and then, without effort, the ocean of her peace swallowed it up as if it had never been, and she asked him what he meant.

Related Characters: Dr. Elwin Ransom (speaker), The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril (speaker), Lewis (speaker), Maleldil
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

“I thought,” she said, "that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent me drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. […] It is a delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands.”

Related Characters: The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril (speaker), Lewis (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom, Maleldil
Related Symbols: Waves
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

"I have said already that we are forbidden to dwell on the Fixed Land. Why do you not either talk of something else or stop talking?”

"Because this forbidding is such a strange one,” said [Weston’s] voice. "And so unlike the ways of Maleldil in my world. And He has not forbidden you to think about dwelling on the Fixed Land. […] [I]n our world we do it all the time. We put words together to mean things that have never happened and places that never were: beautiful words, well put together. And then tell them to one another. We call it stories or poetry. […] It is for mirth and wonder and wisdom.”

"What is the wisdom in it?"

"Because the world is made up not only of what is but of what might be. Maleldil knows both and wants us to know both.”

Related Symbols: The Fixed Land
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

[The smile] seemed to summon Ransom, with horrible naïveté of welcome, into the world of its own pleasures, as if all men were at one in those pleasures, as if they were the most natural thing in the world and no dispute could ever have occurred about them. It was not furtive, nor ashamed, it had nothing of the conspirator in it. It did not defy goodness, it ignored it to the point of annihilation. Ransom perceived that he had never before seen anything but half-hearted and uneasy attempts at evil. This creature was whole-hearted. The extremity of its evil had passed beyond all struggle into some state which bore a horrible similarity to innocence. It was beyond vice as the Lady was beyond virtue.

Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

"And will you teach us Death?" said the Lady to Weston's shape, where it stood above her.

"Yes," it said, "it is for this that I came here, that you may have Death in abundance. But you must be very courageous."

"Courageous. What is that?"

"It is what makes you to swim on a day when the waves are so great and swift that something inside you bids you to stay on land."

"I know. And those are the best days of all for swimming."

"Yes. But to find Death, and with Death the real oldness and the strong beauty and the uttermost branching out, you must plunge into things greater than waves."

Related Symbols: Waves
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

"Your deepest will, at present, is to obey Him […] The way out of that is hard. It was made hard that only the very great, the very wise, the very courageous should dare to walk in it, to go on—on out of this smallness in which you now live—through the dark wave of His forbidding, into the real life, Deep Life, with all its joy and splendour and hardness."

"Listen, Lady," said Ransom. "There is something he is not telling you. […] Long ago, when our world began, there was only one man and one woman in it, as you and the King are in this. And there once before he stood, as he stands now, talking to the woman. […] And she listened, and did the thing Maleldil had forbidden her to do. But no joy and splendour came of it.”

Related Symbols: Waves
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

She stood like one almost dazed with the richness of a day-dream. She did not look in the least like a woman who is thinking about a new dress. The expression of her face was noble. It was a great deal too noble. Greatness, tragedy, high sentiment—these were obviously what occupied her thoughts. Ransom perceived that the affair of the robes and the mirror had been only superficially concerned with what is commonly called female vanity. The image of her beautiful body had been offered to her only as a means to awake the far more perilous image of her great soul. The external and, as it were, dramatic conception of the self was the enemy's true aim. He was making her mind a theatre in which that phantom self should hold the stage. He had already written the play.

Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

It snapped like a violin string. Not one rag of all this evasion was left. Relentlessly, unmistakably, the Darkness pressed down upon him the knowledge that this picture of the situation was utterly false. His journey to Perelandra was not a moral exercise, nor a sham fight. If the issue lay in Maleldil's hands, Ransom and the Lady were those hands. The fate of a world really depended on how they behaved in the next few hours. The thing was irreducibly, nakedly real. They could, if they chose, decline to save the innocence of this new race, and if they declined its innocence would not be saved. It rested with no other creature in all time or all space. This he saw clearly, though as yet he had no inkling of what he could do.

Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

"The world is born to-day," said Malacandra. "To-day for the first time two creatures of the low worlds, two images of Maleldil that breathe and breed like the beasts, step up that step at which your parents fell, and sit in the throne of what they were meant to be. It was never seen before. Because it did not happen in your world a greater thing happened, but not this. Because the greater thing happened in Thulcandra, this and not the greater thing happens here."

"Elwin is falling to the ground," said the other voice.

Related Characters: Lewis (speaker), The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril, The King/Tor
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

The eyes of the Queen looked upon him with love and recognition, but it was not of the Queen that he thought most. It was hard to think of anything but the King. And how shall I—I who have not seen him—tell you what he was like? It was hard even for Ransom to tell me of the King's face. But we dare not withhold the truth. It was that face which no man can say he does not know. You might ask how it was possible to look upon it and not to commit idolatry, not to mistake it for that of which it was the likeness. For the resemblance was, in its own fashion, infinite, so that almost you could wonder at finding no sorrows in his brow and no wounds in his hands and feet.

Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

"So this is hru," he said at last. "I have never seen such a fluid before. And this is the substance wherewith Maleldil remade the worlds before any world was made."

He washed the foot for a long time but the bleeding did not stop. "Does it mean Piebald will die?" said Tinidril at last.

"I do not think so," said Tor. "I think that any of his race who has breathed the air that he has breathed and drunk the waters that he has drunk since he came to the Holy Mountain will not find it easy to die. Tell me, Friend, was it not so in your world that after they had lost their paradise the men of your race did not learn to die quickly?"

"I had heard," said Ransom, "that those first generations were long livers, but most take it for only a Story or a Poetry and I had not thought of the cause."

Related Characters: Lewis (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom (speaker), The King/Tor (speaker), The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril (speaker)
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Perelandra LitChart as a printable PDF.
Perelandra PDF

The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril Character Timeline in Perelandra

The timeline below shows where the character The Green Lady/The Queen/Tinidril appears in Perelandra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom sees that the green lady is accompanied by all sorts of beasts and birds, which are assembled expectantly around her.... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
When Ransom next looks at the Green Lady’s face, she appears perfectly poised and calm. Noticing that evening is falling, Ransom tells her... (full context)
Chapter 5
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...together overnight, creating a temporary continent. Across a narrow bit of water walks the Green Lady, singing to herself and braiding some flowers. Seeing her again, Ransom is overwhelmed by her... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
The Green Lady says that yesterday, she was young, and she didn’t know that people of Ransom’s world... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom asks the Green Lady what she knows of other worlds, since Perelandra’s sky is so dense that other planets... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom is puzzled that the Green Lady looks so much like an earthly woman, even though she is a different species entirely.... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Hesitating, Ransom asks if the Lady knows why Maleldil came to Earth. He feels ashamed to look at her. She says... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...some woods and a flowery field, until Ransom realizes they’re leading him to the Green Lady. Ransom is struck anew by the Lady’s stillness and goddess-like beauty. The animals frolic around... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom asks the Green Lady if she knows for what purpose Maleldil has sent him to her world. She doesn’t.... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
When the Green Lady understands that Earth contains many more of Ransom’s kind, she instructs Ransom to convey her... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom points out that when the Green Lady first saw him, she reacted with disappointment. She walks off to contemplate this, and Ransom... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
When the Green Lady speaks again, she offers an example. If someone goes into the forest, she says, they... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
The Green Lady goes on that she had always thought of herself as being carried along by Maleldil’s... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom begins to find the Green Lady’s words a bit off-putting. The Lady notices his frown and asks him what it means.... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Even after the Green Lady leaves, Ransom continues to feel the weight of someone else’s presence, as he’d first noticed... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...land, he realizes. He longs to explore it. The next day, he and the Green Lady discuss the Fixed Land. The Lady is shocked to hear that on Earth, all the... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
The Green Lady feels overwhelmed by the knowledge that goodness is not the same in all worlds. And... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...disrupted by something streaking noisily across the sky and falling into the sea. The Green Lady observes this with wonder, but she isn’t distracted from her purpose: she is searching for... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...to the top of the valley, and Ransom finds fluffy, black-dotted creatures called Piebalds—the Green Lady named him after them. They climb onto a rocky promontory, but the Lady scales it... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
From the top of the island, Ransom and the Green Lady examine the sea and the surrounding islands. A couple of miles away, they spot a... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...wonders if, like Malacandra, Perelandra’s eldila might help him foil Weston. He asks the Green Lady about them. The Green Lady listens to Maleldil’s gentle counsel and then explains: in Perelandra,... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Ransom tells the Green Lady that, in his world, an eldil didn’t consider it joyful but instead clung to the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...can’t help admiring the man’s egoism. He’s then shocked to hear Weston addressing the Green Lady in Old Solar. On Malacandra, Weston had no proficiency in the language. Ransom feels that... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
But when Ransom begins to follow the Lady off the island, Weston stops him by holding up a revolver. Ransom urges the Green... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...in darkness, he hears a man and woman speaking nearby. It’s Weston and the Green Lady. The Green Lady is perplexed that Weston keeps talking about the Fixed Land—she’s already told... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Weston suggests to the Green Lady that Maleldil is “letting go of [her] hand a little”—by introducing new ideas to her... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...In that way, they’re like “little Maleldils.” This makes their beauty even greater than the Lady’s, and it makes them more desirable to men. This merely prompts the Lady to remark... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...what to do when he finds it, but he doesn’t want it to find the Lady—he now knows that some demonic or even satanic being has invaded Perelandra through Weston. After... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
The Lady is telling Weston’s body that she doesn’t mind the idea of stories or poetry about... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Weston’s body says that the point is to make the Lady “older,” or wiser. He claims this is how earthly women have become great and beautiful.... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...Ransom is struggling with how to explain the idea of “bad” or “evil” to the Lady, Weston’s voice jumps in, arguing that Ransom’s goal is to keep the Lady from getting... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
The Lady replies that, in that case, they must simply make Ransom older. She asks Weston’s body... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Ignoring Ransom, Weston assures the Lady that Maleldil wants her to learn not directly from His own voice, but from Weston’s—allowing... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...body asks whether perhaps Maleldil doesn’t always want to be obeyed. He suggests that the Lady’s growing older won’t be complete unless she seems, at some point, to disobey Maleldil by... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...that this particular command—not to live on the Fixed Island—is an exception. After all, the Lady cannot see any obvious goodness in the command. And Maleldil wouldn’t forbid something just for... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
When Ransom interrupts again, the Lady agrees to hear him out. Ransom argues that Maleldil has established such a law out... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Weston continues that, although the Lady’s deepest will is currently to obey Maleldil, only the great and courageous venture beyond this,... (full context)
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
First, however, Weston tells the Lady that if it weren’t for this original disobedience, Maleldil would never have come to earth... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...he “made Maleldil and death acquainted?” At this, Weston’s body gives a great howl. The Lady is unfazed by this and lies down to sleep. Weston’s body sits down near the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...stay awake indefinitely. Eventually, he falls asleep and wakes to hear Weston speaking to the Lady again. But he’s no longer talking about Maleldil. Instead, he’s telling poignant stories—stories of women... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
A rainstorm begins, and during a flash of lightning, Ransom gets a glimpse of the Lady’s face as she listens to Weston. She looks somehow more like an earthly woman. She... (full context)
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...can, he often dozes and wakes to hear Weston’s voice tirelessly droning on to the Lady. Whenever the Lady departs from their presence, the Un-Man sets aside the veneer of intelligence... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
The Green Lady refuses to end the conversations with Weston until she’s certain that she doesn’t have to... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Little by little, Ransom begins to understand the Un-man’s strategy. So far, the Lady’s sense of duty is still bound up with her love for the King and even... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
One morning, Ransom finds the Un-man and the Lady dressed in robes made of bright feathers, wearing crowns woven from leaves. Weston appears to... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Weston even pulls out a pocket mirror so that the Lady can see her reflection. This frightens her—admiration of oneself doesn’t make sense to her. Weston... (full context)
Chapter 11
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Ransom is sure that the Lady’s resistance will be worn down eventually. He wonders why Maleldil doesn’t intervene to work a... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...him again, and he knows he’s making excuses. “God’s hands” means himself and the Green Lady; the planet’s fate rests on their behavior. Even though this seems deeply unfair to Ransom,... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...on Perelandra is different from what happened on Earth. For one thing, unlike Eve, the Lady has so far resisted temptation. Here, it seems, Maleldil envisions an altogether different story—one in... (full context)
Chapter 12
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...he’s ever been. He enjoys a refreshing breakfast and admires the sleeping form of the Lady for what he assumes will be the last time. Then he goes in search of... (full context)
Chapter 16
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
The King and Queen of Perelandra are climbing up the mountain even now, so the eldila—who have come to... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...about to begin. As a perfect morning light settles over the valley, the King and Queen appear, and the eldila bow before them. (full context)
Chapter 17
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom, too, falls before the King and Queen, calling them his Father and his Mother. It’s his first time seeing the King, and... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...Oyarsa grants all of Perelandra and its creatures into the keeping of the King and Queen. They should name the creatures, guide them, and rule over them with love. The King... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...ensuring that they went up into perfection instead of down into corruption. He and the Queen insist that Ransom sit near them, facing the assembly. (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
The Queen speaks, saying that now she understands why they were never permitted to live on the... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...Fixed Land will become a place dedicated to the splendor of Maleldil. He and the Queen, Tinidril, will fill Perelandra with their children, ennoble the beasts by teaching them, and someday... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
At this point, the five of them—the eldila, the King and Queen, and Ransom—enter into a series of speeches. They speak of the Great Dance which has... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...it, the eldila are gone, and so are the animals. He and the King and Queen are still in the valley. They tell Ransom that an entire year has elapsed since... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
The Queen says that soon the eldila will be coming to take Ransom back to his world.... (full context)