Malory and Christianity
Essays on Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Medieval Institute Publications
Series: Studies in Medieval Culture
Title Page, Copyright
In 1985, Medieval Institute Publications published Studies in Malory, edited by James W. Spisak. All the contributors to this volume have read and learned from that outstanding collection; it became a model for us. Although The Medieval Institute does not publish series on any authors, we the editors have come to think of this book as Studies in Malory: II. We salute the authors and editor of that ...
Less than a century after the death of Sir Thomas Malory, Roger Ascham wrote in The Scholemaster that the “whole pleasure” of Malory’s Morte Darthur “standeth in two speciall poyntes, in open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye: In which booke those be counted the noblest Knightes, that do kill most men without any quarell and commit fowlest aduoulteries by sutlest shiftes: as Sir Launcelote, with the ...
“All maner of good love comyth of God”: Malory, God’s Grace, and Noble Love
As Janet Jesmok and I note in the introduction to this volume, one of the earliest critics of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Roger Ascham, condemned it on the grounds of immorality. He found in it only “open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye” as opposed to “honestie and godliness.” As the latter phrase suggests, Ascham found religious grounds for his argument, writing that he had seen the ...
Adulterated Love: The Tragedy of Malory’s Lancelot and Guinevere
Sir Thomas Malory’s account of Lancelot and Guinevere’s love affair in the final sections of the Morte Darthur, beginning with Lancelot’s reunion with Guine-vere after the Grail Quest and ending in their cloistered separation, has had a strongly polarizing effect on his readers. In these final books, Malory consistently focuses the spotlight on the relationship of Lancelot and Guinevere, holding ...
Endless Virtue and Trinitarian Prayer in Lancelot’s Healing of Urry
In Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, where chivalry is a way of life, moral prin-ciples operate with vigor but not necessarily with signs of Christianity. not all characters displaying chivalric values are identified as Christian or even religious. Moreover, those who are secular Christians frequently indicate their faith just incidentally, such as hearing Mass or expostulating, as Gareth does, “Jesu, wolde ...
Christian Rituals in Malory: The Evidence of Funerals
In his classic study, The Making of the Middle Ages, R. W. Southern analyzes the Chrétien, as an author, was neither religious nor, in intention at least, anti-religious. Religion was part of the furniture of his sto-ries—indeed an essential part, for religious observance was one of the elements of good breeding. but the Christianity of Chrétien is ...
Rhetoric, Ritual, and Religious Impulse in Malory’s Book 8
Religious impulse dominates “The Most Piteous tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Guerdon,” book 8 of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur: Guinevere becomes a nun and an abbess, Lancelot becomes a priest, and his faithful followers take on religious habits. Malory uses religious rhetoric, ritual, and imagery to describe these conversions, suggesting, perhaps, that his epic romance has become hagi-...
Christianity and Social Instability: Malory’s Galahad, Palomides, and Lancelot
As every essay in this volume suggests, Christianity is an important and compli-cated aspect of the chivalric world of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. The text enacts a complex and often vexed overlap, interaction, and, on occasion, oppo-sition of religious and chivalric identities. derek brewer once famously said of the Morte Darthur that “[f ]or Malory—and we shall never understand him if we ...
Slouching towards Bethlehem: Secularized Salvation in Le Morte Darthur
Although P. J. C. Field has concluded that Malory drew upon at least four Grail romances as he composed his tale of the Sankgreal, this conclusion in no way undermines the scholarly consensus that Malory based his Grail story on the French vulgate Cycle’s La Queste del Saint Graal.1 both eugène vinaver and his successors in studying Le Morte Darthur have explored the possible meanings of ...
Malory’s Secular Arthuriad
In the final scenes of Le Morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory records how the few remaining Round table knights depart Arthur and Guinevere’s tomb for Joy-ous Garde, where they meet ector and inter Lancelot’s body; shortly there-after, bors, ector, blamour, and bleoberis depart england altogether for the Holy Land. “And there,” says Malory, “they dyed upon a Good Fryday for Goddes sake” ...
“In my harte I am [not] crystynde”: What Can Malory Offer the Nonreligious Reader?
What can Malory offer the nonreligious reader? Part of the answer is splendidly obvious. Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur 1 offers gorgeous language, thrilling episodes, and emotionally engaging and believable characters,2 all in such abundance that it may seem the rankest greed to ask for more. but the greedy reader of Malory is rarely disappointed, and here I will discuss yet another way ...
Back Matter, Back Cover