In the epic, The Idylls of the King, by Alfred Lord Tennyson Vivien is born of death and is saturated with evil. She is born on a battlefield encompassed by the dead to dying mother atop her dead father. Vivien comes to Guenever and claims to be a maiden though her mind is tainted. She reveled in the torment she caused her hated enemy Arthur with her rumor of Lancelot and Guenever's affair. Being born of death, Vivien has a heart of pure loathing for all.
Death was what encircled Vivien's mother. She was lying on a battlefield next to her slain husband. She herself about to die gave birth to Vivien. She recalled this moment as an excuse for love of slander. "My father died in battle against the King,/ My mother on his corpse in open field;/ She bore me there, for born from death was I/ Among the dead and sown upon the wind- (33). On learning this from Vivien and now knowing the reason for her hate of Arthur, King Mark sends her to the kingdom of Arthur.
The first person that Vivien meets is Guenever. Vivien instantly weaves a tale of lies and false suffering. She tells Guenever that she is a fair orphan maiden. When asked by Guenever what she did do Vivien lied "None wrought, but suffer"d much, an orphan maid" (34). She pleaded with Guenever to take her in and allow her stay. Guenever agreed but did not know what she was doing. Guenever had let a tainted soul among her maids. Vivien was there only to spy on the unsuspecting couple of Lancelot and Guenever.