In about 1470, Thomas Malory finished Morte d' Arthur, the first of the
many legends written about King Arthur. Even in modern times, King Arthur and
the Knights of the Round Table are a favorite subject in movies, books, and
plays. Often times this is so because the Medieval Period in general, and King
Arthur in particular, have an air of mystery, romance, fantasy, and adventure
that are popular themes in all times and cultures. I compared Malory's Morte d'
Arthur with Camelot, a movie produced in 1967 that stars Richard Harris as King
Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere.
Camelot covers the period in Arthur's life from when he meets his future
wife Guenevere to the beginning of his siege against Sir Lancelot's castle in
France. The short excerpt of Morte d' Arthur tells of how King Arthur abandons
his assault on Lancelot to defend Camelot and all of England from Mordred.
Because Camelot seems to immediately precede Morte d' Arthur and there is no
overlap in the story, the way the plot is handled in each work cannot be debated.
I will however, discuss the mood, tone, and characterization of a few key
figures in the two works.
One difference in character that I found was that in the introduction
to Morte d' Arthur, Mordred is referred to as King Arthurs nephew. Later in the
text, when Arthur and Mordred ...
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