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_ _Two definitions of "Lamia" that I found to be interesting were:

1. In Classical mythology, the term "Lamia" represented on of a class of monsters, commonly represented with the head and breast of a woman and the body of a serpent, said to allure youths and children in order to suck their blood.

2. A vampire; a female demon.

(www.dictionary.com)

I found these descriptions of Gwendolyn to be interesting because the men realize, whether it is subconsciously or consciously, that Gwendolyn seems to have the qualities of a serpent. The men who discuss her find her to be beautiful and talented, yet notice that she has certain qualities that make her seem to be less ideal to them, leading to their reflections of her "Lamia beauty." I think this could be foreshadowing her later actions and characteristics as we read deeper into the novel and discover her attitude towards her own self-love, and how much it may take in order for Gwendolyn to be saved, if even possible.  

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  1. Unknown User (jdr12)

    I was very interested in reading the depiction of Gwendolyn as a "Lamia." I recall reading the poem "Lamia," by John Keats. This poem portrays the idea of a serpent who asks the god Hermes to give her the form of a beautiful nymph that was desired by all men. Hermes grants this wish to the Lamia, and in turn the Lamia courts the young man Lycius who in turn attempts to marry her. In the final stanza of the poem the Lamia's true form is show, and Lycius' soul is in turn stolen. The poem however questions the love of both Lycius and the Lamia, presenting ambiguity to the Lamia's intentions and Lycius' love upon discovering the Lamia's true form.

    I found this to be an interesting parallel to the allusion of Gwendolyn to a Lamia, possibly foreshadowing the downfall of Daniel Deronda's love for Gwendolyn, or the eventual distinction of Gwendolyn as being possibly evil, or vain in her intentions to possibly posses Daniel Deronda. The poem seems to speak to love relationships based on vanity, as well as the point of distinction where the love of a relationship and the each member of a relationship's intentions are exposed for what they are.

    This poem can be found at: http://www.bartleby.com/126/36.html\\