King Arthur shows to be a very provident king who treats his people with a large amount
of his riches and fortune. Additionally, the people of his court show to be honest, full of chivalry,
and trustworthy. There would seem to be a sort of contract between the king and his subjects: he
provides for them, and they, as his most loyal subjects, keep to his standards of honor and
civility. The court of King Arthur as described in the tale of Lanval by Marie de France shows to
be actually quite similar to the court described in the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Although the characters themselves are in different situations and are treated differently by the
king, the principles of the court remain the same.
As any great king would do, King Arthur shares and rewards his gold, riches, property,
and material wealth to the members of his court. However, in the tale of Lanval, Arthur tends to
ignore Lanval and give him nothing. The people of his court tend not to like Lanval because they
envy his beauty and "feign[…] the appearance of love" for him (Marie 24). Although the king
tends to pay very little attention to Lanval, he continues to be presented as a king of great fortune
and who shares –– for the most part –– with the people of his court, rewarding all of the other
knights and courtiers in his court, but he neglects to accept the fact that Lanval is even in his
presence: "[Arthur] gave out many gifts: / to counts and barons, / ………. / to all but one who
had served him. / That was Lanval; Arthur forgot him, / and none of his men favored him
either." (Marie 13-20). Be this as it may, Arthur is still...
... middle of paper ...
...ity between the courts of Arthur as presented in
the stories of Lanval and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It is important to note the amount of
love and charity that King Arthur shows for his subjects. And likewise, it is important to note the
amount of respect that have for the codes of chivalry and honor, which is often rewarded in the
long run with forgiveness for their transgressions or breeches of contractual obligations.
Marie de France. Lanval. Trans. Robert Hanning and Joan Ferrante. The Longman Anthology of
British Literature. Eds. David Damrosch and Kevin J. H. Dettmar. 4th ed. New York:
Longman, 2010: 1A: 203-219.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Trans. Brian Stone. The Longman Anthology of British
Literature. Eds. David Damrosch and Kevin J. H. Dettmar. 4th ed. New York: Longman,
2010: 1A: 222-277.
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