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Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’arthur, T.H. White’s Once and Future King, and George Romero’s Knightriders encompass the evolution of the Arthurian tale from Malory’s time to the 1980s. Through this time many things have changed and these changes can be seen within the differences between each work. While there are many prominent differences chivalry or the knightly code is one of the main forces that tie these tales together. Malory reworks many of his sources to bring attention to the grand fellowship of Arthur’s Round Table and the chivalry that holds the knights together. Malory idealizes the power of chivalry and gives a great importance to it throughout his text. Unlike Malory, White does not idealize chivalry, but he does see the good and honorable aspects of chivalry. From Sprague Kurth’s article, “Conclusion,” it is clear to see that White gives his text an anti-war stance and shows chivalry and the controlling moral compass of Arthur’s knights. Chivalry is once again idealized in George Romero’s Knightriders the situations within the film are modernized but the emotions and illusions remain the same. T.H. White is directly referenced within the film and Malory’s idealization of the glory of chivalry can once again be seen. In my essay, I will show how chivalry is used in all the texts above as a bonding agent between all Arthurian knights. As Arthur’s knights honor and respect chivalry they remain as one cohesive group, but once they begin to abandon chivalry the Round Table begins to crumble and chaos ensues.
Sprague, Kurth “Conclusion.” Arthuriana 16.3 (2006): 129-152. Web. 14 November 2013.
In “Conclusion” Sprague writes about T.H. White’s anti-war stance throughout The Once and Future King. White lived in the era of World War I and began to hate war. While White’s hatred of war is clear throughout his text his take on chivalry is more positive. In White’s work chivalry can be seen as the substance that pulls knights away from the ugly violence they possess within themselves. In my essay, I will use this source as an Example to show the positive perspective of chivalry within an anti-war society.
Archibald, Elizabeth “Malory’s Ideal of Fellowship.” Arthuriana 43.171 (1992): 311-328. Web. 14 November 2013.
In “Malory’s Ideal of Fellowship”, Archibald writes about the bond between the Arthurian knights. She specifically focuses on the changes Thomas Malory made from his sources to bring attention to the strong connection between the knights and the importiance of that connection.
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Tiller, Kenneth “En-graving Chivalry: Tombs, Burial, and the Ideology of Knighthood in Malory's "Tale of King Arthur".” Arthuriana 14.2 (2004): 37-53. Web. 14 November 2013.
In “En-graving Chivalry: Tombs, Burial, and the Ideology of Knighthood in Malory's "Tale of King Arthur”,” Kenneth describes the connection between the use of tombs and the message of knighthood in Malory’s Le Morte D’arthur. The connection between knightly ideals and tombs can best be seen in the tale “The Knight with the Two Swords.” Those who exemplified aspects of chivalry were given tombs and their tombs were also engraved. The engravings on the tombs speak of the good that the individuals did in their life time. More specifically they highlight the elements of chivalry within them. Some of the engravings are prophecies written and told by Merlin. These prophecies connect the knightly ideals of the past to the future. I will use I will use Tiller’s article as a Method source (along with Archibald’s article) to analyze Kelly’s reading of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’arthur.
Kelly, Robert L. “Royal Policy and Malory’s Round Table.” Arthuriana 14.1 (2004): 129-152. Web. 13 November 2013
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Blanch, Robert J. “George Romero’s “Knightriders”: A Contemporary Arthurian Romance.” Arthuriana 1.4 (1991): 61-69. Web. 11 November 2013
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