Essay on Revenge is Futile: Le’ Morte d’ Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Essay on Revenge is Futile: Le’ Morte d’ Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

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Le’ Morte d’ Arthur is a medieval romaunce by Sir Thomas Malory about King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table, violence plays a very crucial part in the story. Many different kinds of violence occur in this set of stories, some of which are very ordered and fine, like jousting, and also disordered violence like war. The worst type of violence though is when people use violence to get vengeance, which is a major theme, because many of these knights are mad at others. While many of the knights in the book are concerned with getting revenge, these actions and the search for vengeance are often futile and almost always end badly.
One of the major early forms of vengeance presented in the book are blood feuds. Blood feuds are not only vengeance between two people, but in fact between the whole family and can often last for many generations. The example of this in the book is the blood feud started when King Pellinore attacked King Lot. “Then King Pellinore attacked King Lot and killed him, by first spearing his horse, and then splitting his helmet and skull with his sword.” (Page 36) This was a brutal way to kill and made Gawain, understandably mad. Gawain is too concerned however with revenge. He ends up killing Pellinore, which weakens Camelot and the knights of the round table. This also led to a needless death of a good man, Pellinore. An example of this in real history was the Percy-Neville blood feud in medieval England. This was a blood feud in the 1400s that started a civil war, the War of the Roses. This was started when a Percy was made Bishop of Carlisle, a very pointless reason to start a civil war. This, just like the Pellinore-Lot feud, caused needless deaths, albeit a lot more. The pope r...


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... Revenge led to the fall of the round table and to many other bad things and deaths throughout history. The most famous quote about revenge is by Gandhi. “An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” This quote especially rings true in this story since revenge led to the fall of Camelot. In this story and in medieval times revenge led to many deaths and strife for everyone. Without revenge everyone, especially the people in Le’ Morte D’ Arthur would be a lot better off than they are with it.




Works Cited

Aurelius, Marcus. The meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. New York: A.L. Burt, 189.
Malory, Thomas, and Keith Baines.Malory's Le morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the legends of the Round Table. 1962. Reprint, New York: New American Library, 2010.
Pollard, Anthony. "Percies, Nevilles, and the Wars of the Roses." History Today, September 1, 1993.

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