Le Morte Darthur
This paper is a review of Sir Thomas Malory’s book, `Le Morte Darthur.`
This paper looks at the Arthurian legend, and how Sir Thomas Malory’s book stands out from the rest, and has become the authority on the period. The author takes a look at Sir Thomas Malory’s life and influences and gives an overview of the events surrounding the publication of his book on King Arthur. The sources that were used are detailed, as are excerpts from the book itself in order to support the author’s thesis that this publication is the most accurate. This particular version is important since it was one of the first to be published in English, rather than French or Latin.
“Malory’s work for we shall side with the majority of scholars here in attributing it to this writer is a compilation and translation from old French sources (with additions from English sources and the compiler’s own composition) of most of the tales about the semilegendary Arthur, king of the Britons, and his knights. The 21 books in Malory’s work carry on the tradition of the medieval Arthurian romance, from French sources, in English prose of remarkable vividness and vitality. Malory loosely tied together stories of various knights of the Round Table, but most memorably of Arthur himself, of Galahad, and of the guilty love of Lancelot and Arthur’s queen, Guinevere. Despite the great variety of incident and the complications of plot in his work, the dominant theme is the need to sacrifice individual desire for the sake of national unity and religious salvation, the latter of which is envisioned in terms of the dreamlike but intense mystical symbolism of the Holy Grail (Kennedy 119).”